This is the week that Apple learns how many users will choose to pay for Apple Music. They will never tell us the real numbers (if there were a pool, I'd bet 4.5 million) that stay and pay for Apple Music, but we can read the signals coming from Cupertino.
Here is what Apple insiders are saying about Apple Music and what we think they really mean:
EDDY CUE: In an interview with the UK Evening Standard, Apple SVP Eddy Cue said that he and his fellow Apple executives are "relaxed" about Apple Music subscribers numbers. "Ultimately, you never know until it happens. But we’re pleased with the number of people who have tried," said Cue. "Everybody gets fixated on the short term but we’re in this for the long haul."
TRANSLATION: "Apple Music's numbers are OK, but not the blockbuster that Apple usually delivers. There goes my chance of succeeding Tim Cook."
JIMMY IOVINE: "I'm starting to see some really good signs," Jimmy Iovine said in an interview this week. "It's going to be a road. But if you make the service great enough, people will pay for that."
TRANSLATION: "The number of paid subscribers are way less than I promised, but my job is secure....Apple needs me more than ever... Maybe I can bring Tupac back from the grave for an Apple Music exclusive..."
ZANE LOWE: When asked in an interview this week why Apple Music needed Beats 1, Zane Lowe responded: "It’s a great question. I’m not sure that they do.... the station is absolutely working right now," but it's still "a work in progress, and overtime we’ll find out why Apple Music needs Beats 1."
TRANSLATION: "Apple loves all the great press I'm generating, but now I need to drive some big sustained listener stats. My agent is talking to SiriusXM just in case."
IAN ROGERS: Did former Topspin/Beats/Apple Music exec Ian Rogers read the tea leaves when he decided to abruptly exit for a new opportunity in Paris just weeks after Apple Music launched?
TRANSLATION: You decide...