Freshly installed as Apple Music’s global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B, Ebro Darden has been talking to Complex about his new role, and how Apple Music as a whole may evolve.
“I’m just going to be looking at the heat map and to see where people are engaging with the platform, where we see potential for growth opportunities, and digging in,” he said. Darden also hinted at plans to make Beats 1’s archive of shows, interviews and mixes more discoverable. “One of the things we’re going to be doing in the years to come is make that stuff easier to find and easier to use,” he said. Darden also talked about the future for traditional radio – “radio is like network television: the large brands will be around for a long time… How it’s monetized by the corporations I’m sure will evolve, but the idea that you can pick up a signal in your local community and hear people who are living like you and near you, I don’t see that going anywhere” – and addressed a question about whether Apple Music will follow Spotify in allowing artists to upload music directly to its platform. Has it been discussing such a move? “We have not. Obviously, we’re working with our label partners. We’re working with our independent label partners. Our posture is always trying to be a service provider,” he said. And yet… “If there’s demand for it, I think that Apple and the guys that lead those teams will make the pivot if they feel like it’s necessarily…”