Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Joe Sixpaque, Jul 1, 2007.
Just heard it on the news, just got the tail end, so no details, but . . . wow.
Is there no shame?
This could be interesting...
I still have no way to spend the $150 in gift cards I received with an iPod for Christmas. There's nothing I don't have in my collection that I want. I know I should feel an urgency to download all the Universal I can get, but I've already uploaded an iPod full without the need for the iTunes store.
I don't download, so I don't know exactly what this means. Will UMG offer their own download service or offer their music through another download service?
I gotta believe UMG revenue from iTunes was huge. I read that the label's got $0.65 or so for each $0.99 song sold which seems like a decent deal.
in my ideal utopian world, they would start releasing everything on wax again..... thick flat wax.
Sounds like they want the whole $0.99. But can they afford the infrastructure?
edit: some quick googling came up with this interesting tidbit.. from Forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/technology/feeds/afx/2007/06/20/afx3838722.html
So there is an ongoing problem between Apple, it's providers, and the EU Anti-trust Commisson.
Dropping off the most visited online music marketplace would mean that UMG would have to sell its tracks at a discount, just to lure people to its site.. or at least that's my take. A gutsy move, if true, and maybe not the wisest from where I sit. Wouldn't they be better off reupping with IT and creating a UMG site that offered 85 cent downloads and incentives for frequent shoppers/music lovers? Over time they'd create an audience, but time is the key....
So they are messing with the term but not saying no.
Well someone is going to have to stand up to Jobs, and it may as well be the biggest player in the universe.
Hey, they could start a new venture and call it Unitunes! It does have a good ring to it.
It takes some work to get it rolling, but once it is rolling HAL can run the store.
That's right Daaaaave!
That HAL 9000 is a monster computer!
I've been really surprised the Big Four labels haven't each started up their own download sites. It's the Internet, so why bother with a middle man?
And this way, anyone with ANY brand of MP3 player could then use the downloaded music.
For example one of my favorite independent downtempo/lounge labels, Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, has had their own download site for almost three years now.
I think it's just negotiating tactics...maybe they are angling for more margin.
As per the link:
"Highlighting ongoing tension between the music industry and Apple Inc., Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group is set to notify the Cupertino, Calif. company that it is not renewing a long term contract to sell digital music downloads through the increasingly powerful iTunes Store, according to people familiar with the situation," Ethan Smith and Nick Wingfield report for The Wall Street Journal.
"The move does not mean, however, that Universal will remove its vast catalog... from iTunes in the foreseeable future. Instead, Universal, which is the world's largest music company by market share, expects to go to a short-term sales agreement," Smith and Nick Wingfield report. "Though it is unlikely to have sweeping effects immediately, the change could give Universal more flexibility in its dealings with competitors to iTunes."
The HAL 9000 could write and record the tunes also if it/he is not already.
With the DRM-free music thing picking up steam, it makes sense for the labels to limit the length of their agreements with Apple. iTunes became the monster it is because:
a) iPod was the largest single market, and
b) the labels were afraid to sell music without DRM, and
c) the only DRM supported on the iPod is Apple's DRM, so
d) the labels HAD to sell through iTunes to reach their target market.
If DRM-free music becomes a viable market for the labels, they'll want to cut over to their own download stores as soon as possible so they can pocket the entire $whatever/track instead of giving Steve Jobs a cut. Long-term contracts would just slow that process down.
The effect on Apple could be minimal. If the "22 songs" figure is accurate, each iPod sold only results in another six or seven bucks of revenue to Apple via the iTunes store. They make way, way, way more than that on the hardware...
It sounds like big news on the surface, but it may not be. Given that the CD industry is in huge flux, it makes little sense to have any long-term agreements for digital downloads, simply because no one knows what the situation will be like even a year from now. I doubt Steve Jobs is losing sleep over this.
IIRC, Universal has set up its own online store.
Oh, I get it. UMG is going to back away from iTunes and commit its resources back to SACD. That must be it.
Just another example of the arrogance and utter stupidity of a major label. Digital downloads are the only segment in the industry that is showing growth. The popularity of the iPod is the main reason for this growth. Depriving iPod owners the opportunity to legally purchase their tracks because Apple won't allow Universal to charge MORE for those tracks is one of the stupidest business decisions they can make. What, if people can't get their Universal tracks via iTunes do they think users will suddenly start buying CD's again? Pulling Universal tracks isn't going to hurt Apple in any way, it will only hurt the fans who wanted to BUY the music. Insane.
How many times can the music industry shoot itself in the foot?
But you gotta give them credit, they keep doing it one way or another!
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