Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made news this week on several fronts, including a change to the royalty structure in its upcoming Apple Music service. Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue stated that Apple would pay artists 0.2 cents per song during the 3-month free trial. While AAPL peaked mid-week at $129.70 after news of the change, the stock closed at $126.79 on Friday. This means AAPL longs were down 70 cents per share from Monday's open.
Apple Music will launch on Tuesday June 30 as part of the iOS 8.4 update. Beats 1 live radio programming will start broadcasting at 12:00 EDT, and former Beats Music subscribers will be prompted to migrate their accounts to Apple Music. Apple will charge $9.99 per month and offer a $14.99 family plan for subscribers. All eyes will be on Apple Inc. as the new service and iOS update rolls out.
Apple disclosed an insider transaction on June 26 to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple SVP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio sold 24,085 shares of AAPL on June 24 at an average price of $128.83 per share. The total value of the transaction was over $3 million. A previous Form 4 filing showed Apple chairman Art Levinson sold over $9 million in AAPL stock on May 28. In the past six months, ownership of the company by insiders has decreased by 9.3%, to 0.05% of total shares. AAPL market cap is currently $730.21 billon.
Conflicting reports over the future of Apple Watch may have contributed to AAPL volatility this week. Research from Morgan Stanley found the current popularity of Apple Watch surpasses that of the original iPhone. In contrast, Pacific Crest released Google Trends data they say indicates low interest in Apple Watch amongst consumers. CNBC reported that millenials are not satisfied with Apple Watch, however AppleInsider published a critique of this research.In any case, the wearable is now widely available in Apple retail stores, and made its debut in 7 new countries last week. On Friday June 26 Apple Watch launched in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. This week, AAPL price may be affected by news of initial demand and consumer reaction to Apple Watch in these countries. The next round of countries to gain Apple Watch will include Netherlands, Sweden, and Thailand on July 17. Investment firm J.P. Morgan predicted that over 26 million units will be sold before the end of the year.
Last but not least, job seekers might be interested in a listing that was spotted on the Apple careers page last week. The company is looking to hire a director of public policy, with wide-ranging responsibilities that include developing a policy agenda, determining the impact of government policies, and maximizing participation in international trade associations.