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Music Industry Threatens to Pull Plug on Apple

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the like-to-see-them-try dept.

The Almighty Buck 733

bacterial_pus writes "First the music industry wanted more money, by changing Apple's 99 cents per song policy. Now one exec is threatening to pull the plug on Apple if Steve Jobs doesn't change the iTunes Music Store pricing." From the article: "Nash's comments echoes those made last week by Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman, who called for Apple to adopt variable pricing and share out revenues from iPod sales. The record companies' position is based on the dubious argument that digital downloads sell iPods. In fact all the evidence points to the opposite: that iPod sales have driven demand for downloads. The vast majority of digital music sales are made by iPod owners. Cut off Apple and the labels digital sales will slump." More recently Jobs resisted their pressure, and the execs snarked back. Looks like they're getting more serious.

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knob (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688801)

steve jobs more like steve knobs

Re:knob (0, Redundant)

ringbarer (545020) | about 9 years ago | (#13688816)

Steve RIMjobs more like.

Windows Users get the Chicks.
Mac Users get the Dicks.

And Linux users get to vomit on each other for sex.

Re:knob (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688878)

steve jobs more like steve knobs

Oh man. I hope you've printed that comment out at least 20 times and deposited each copy in the bank vaults of the world's 20 richest Sultans, Sheikhs and casino owners for safe keeping.

Because, should the unspeakable happen, and Slashdot's comment database (and all backups) be destroyed, the loss of such comedic gold would be a true tragedy for all mankind.

I salute you, Sir!

record industry hold back (2, Interesting)

freddej (122902) | about 9 years ago | (#13688813)

Couldn't they just find out a way of making their on money on digital media stores instead of trying to prosectue people who download or trying to threat iTunes store. Or is this thier new way?

Beats me.

I like STEALING THINGS (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about 9 years ago | (#13689041)

Fine with me, I'll just go back to stealing music.

Quotable quotes (5, Insightful)

M00NIE (605235) | about 9 years ago | (#13688817)

Quoted from the article: 'What if Jobs says 39 cents or 29 cents per download - what then?'

*gasp* MORE people might actually BUY your music... NO the humanity, the HUGE MANATEE!

Re:Quotable quotes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13689033)

one exec is threatening to pull the plug on Apple

Good. I hope he does. Perhaps the public and politicians will then wake up to the greed of the music industry.

Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

pen (7191) | about 9 years ago | (#13688818)

To echo comments in the previous article, asking Apple to share iPod profit is like an electric company asking Maytag to share their profits from selling washing machines. (Or like oil companies asking automobile manufacturers to share their profits.) And so on...

Re:Ridiculous (5, Funny)

DaveFromChicago (915169) | about 9 years ago | (#13688860)

What? You mean the recording industry doesn't get a cut whenever a CD player or a set of speakers is sold? Clearly the music industry is floundering.

But what if... (3, Insightful)

kweg (305533) | about 9 years ago | (#13688880)

Buy what if i own a company that made most of the clothes that are washed in Maytag washing machines I should get a bit of the profit then...

Re:Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | about 9 years ago | (#13688911)

Or perhaps Maytag will give some of their profits to Tide.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688945)

Or like oil companies asking automobile manufacturers to share their profits.

Except the automobile manufacturers aren't selling oil.

Or like forcing computer makers bundle windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13689034)

This is monoply versus monopoly. The RIAA is acting as a cartel and Apple owns the Digital Rights Managed player market. I know there's a lot of love for Steve Jobs around here, but he's a monopolist at least as far as iPod goes.

I hope they both lose.

And I hope Microsoft doesn't win after these guys beat each other up.

How about a share of iTunes instead? (2, Funny)

losman (840619) | about 9 years ago | (#13688819)

If the execs really want to see what drives people toward digital downloads then they should look at iTunes. iTunes is what makes this all so easy so let's give the execs %100 of the profit from iTunes.

Oh! That's right... iTunes is FREE!

Re:How about a share of iTunes instead? (5, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | about 9 years ago | (#13688892)

They don't want it to succeed. The recording industry actions over the last few years have pointed to a common goal: stop online music distribution. It could never be as profitable for the music cartel as physical distribution. I think they allowed iTunes to temporarily succeed with this plan in mind all along so they can later kill it, to establish that there is no market for online music distribution and people can now go back to paying $20 for a CD with 2 good songs on it. But it's too late for that to happen now. The only thing that will ultimately pull the music industry's collective head out of it's collective ass is when well-known artists bypass them altogether. When things like this happen, that day will come sooner rather than later.

The original goal of ITMS.. (2, Informative)

ZaBu911 (520503) | about 9 years ago | (#13688820)

According to Apple, the original goal of the iTunes Music Store (ITMS) was to sell more iPods. In fact, they didn't expect it to be profitable at all - but now it commands a sizable share of Apple's quarterly revenue.

Re:The original goal of ITMS.. (5, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 9 years ago | (#13688852)

no.. that "share" is ipod sales. ITMS barely breaks even.

Re:The original goal of ITMS.. (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | about 9 years ago | (#13688869)

Maybe you're right, but I'm almost positive that there was an announcement stating that ITMS was being started to boost iPod sales.

sales slump? (1)

nemik (909434) | about 9 years ago | (#13688821)

and i wonder who will be blamed....

Re:sales slump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688853)


Re:sales slump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688936)

those crazy kids and their p2p programs

Music exces are idiots (3, Insightful)

Rockenreno (573442) | about 9 years ago | (#13688822)

This just another attempt of theirs to eschew their customers and get a bigger slice of the pie. Methinks their egos have grown too big for their britches.

Re:Music exces are idiots (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13688929)

My prediction is that Jobs (in true Jobs fashion) won't back down. The Music Execs will then be left with a choice: Either back off, or pull the plug and take it to the next level.

I'd LOVE to see them take it to the next level. iTunes would add a nice little message on the front that says, "The Music Industry has chosen to prevent sales of Music because they wanted to gouge you, the customer. We at Apple have resisted their arm twisting, and they have responded by shutting down the music store. However, there is something you can do about it. Call XXX-XXX-XXXX and let them know that you will boycott all music purchases until they bring back the 99 cent iTune!"

Can you imagine the public outrage against the music companies? They aren't exactly liked right now. Throw a little fuel on the fire, and WHOOSH. Bye, bye idiot execs. Your shareholders are calling.

Re:Music exces are idiots (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 9 years ago | (#13688985)

"This just another attempt of theirs to eschew their customers and get a bigger slice of the pie. Methinks their egos have grown too big for their britches."

They don't just want a bigger slice of the pie... they also want the pie to be bigger.

I say, let them set the prices at iTunes... let them figure out the price point to maximize profits for each song. All the less popular, but good, music will be cheaper than $0.99. They still need to compete against the black market, which will swallow a ton of profits unless they keep prices down.

Yeah, right (5, Insightful)

rjung2k (576317) | about 9 years ago | (#13688826)

How many hits does the iTunes Music Store get in a day?

Hell, how many does it get in an hour?

Good luck walking away from that, Mr. Nash...

He sounds scared (4, Insightful)

SoCalChris (573049) | about 9 years ago | (#13688827)

'What if Jobs says 39 cents or 29 cents per download - what then?

Someone is threatening their monopoly.

Re:He sounds scared (2, Insightful)

Infinityis (807294) | about 9 years ago | (#13688971)

I hope Jobs says something like this, if only to do so "just because he can".

Apple can survive for awhile without iTunes profit, and people who presently own iPods can still enjoy the music they've already purchased. I'd say let it go a month or so, and see what happens. People who were used to iTunes pricing will now balk at CD prices, so not only are the online sales down, but the CD sales are down too. It won't be long before the the music industry people to come back begging for Apple to take them back.

I can see it now.... (1)

pmj (527674) | about 9 years ago | (#13688829)

Apple/iTMS to become a ``record label.'' Maybe they'll just buy Apple Records and get it over with. :)

don't blink, Apple (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | about 9 years ago | (#13688835)

Upfront disclaimer: I'm a total idiot, and I have no idea how businesses work, nor do I have any legal background.

So, I wonder if this is a confrontation Apple may welcome, and maybe even brought semi-intentionally. My hunch is the thesis: iPods generate sales, rather than download sales generate iPod sales is the more correct dynamic at work in this market.

There certainly are plenty of alternative sources of music, music that could temporarily replace the current source for iTunes, should the music industry call Apple's bluff. But I think the music industry stands to lose way more than Apple. The music industry could:

  • lose revenue
  • lose confidence of the consumers
  • lose artists
  • lose relevance
Apple, on the other hand still offers a sweet product (even a sweet suite of products) and there are myriad ways to get music onto their devices. Sure, a speedbump in iTunes could require a detour, but I think Apple faces little risk. Apple could be the huge winner here. In my opinion, Apple already is at least the winner, they've dared not to blink and the music industry is starting to look silly.

Me, I refuse to play one way or the other with any of DRM markets, but I give Apple grudging credit for offering a palatible product and willingness to take on the hand that feeds.

Re:don't blink, Apple (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 9 years ago | (#13688949)

decent assessment, but I own an ipod and it has not drm/speedbumps. It will however play fairplay encoded files. This is very much in the same way a dvd player plays css encrypted dvd's, but will still play the unencrypted ones you author with dvd-x-copy or nero.

That said, itunes itself was restricted when they incorporated the music store. Pre-music store itunes used to have a web streaming feature which was summarily stripped out at the indutry's behest. to get a bit off topic, i think apple should be removing the store from itunes itself and making it a separate app so we mac users can have the full functionality of our original music player.

The music industry is stupid enough to do this... (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 9 years ago | (#13688836)

Having observed their behavior in the past, I fully believe that the music industry really believes that they are doing Apple a favor and that they can cut Apple off.

If they close iTunes, iPod users will just rip their own music (and share it) leaving 0 revenue.

Re:The music industry is stupid enough to do this. (2, Insightful)

SoCalChris (573049) | about 9 years ago | (#13688887)

I don't see them closing iTunes Music Store. If all of the labels backed out, Apple would probably start focusing on indie bands, and put more focus on the podcasts. I can see them allowing indie bands to set their own pricing on their songs, and providing for "premium podcasts" that require either a subscription, or purchase of individual podcasts. In fact, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they start doing that anyways.

Re:The music industry is stupid enough to do this. (4, Interesting)

Hellasboy (120979) | about 9 years ago | (#13688975)

wasn't it in japan a few months ago where sony artists were tired of the bickering between sony and apple in regards to itunes that they just said kcuf it and started releasing their songs on itunes in spite of their contracts?

maybe the same thing can happen here with artists backlashing against the riaa (who are supposed to represent the artists themselves but seems more likely they are representing the executives). but i guess that would depend on the character of the band.

Re:The music industry is stupid enough to do this. (1)

tktk (540564) | about 9 years ago | (#13689020)

What about the bands & artists? Didn't iTunes Japan start without the Sony label? And some Japanese artists bascially jumped ship just to get their tracks onto iTunes Japan? I think that maybe a small number of US bands would try the same.

But iTunes Japan thing might have been a rumor since I don't remember hearing any followups on that story.

Legal action for price fixing? (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13688840)

Perhaps legal action could be taken on the basis of price fixing/gouging if they were to actually drop Apple because Apple would not sell at the price the industry demanded?

Re:Legal action for price fixing? (2, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | about 9 years ago | (#13688987)

To finish your sentance: as opposed to the price that the market sets.

The problem is that other than a couple on-line wanabies and a grey source (allofmp3) the apple store is the only source. The monopoly still exists.

What we really need is another eStore to open, selling comparible (and compatible DRM) music at slightly lower prices (97c anybody). Let the market open and the pricewar evolve. shortly one of the two will pick up the 'variable price per song based on download rate as a measure of popularity' method on their own. At that point the RIAA's attempts to shut down either become clear anti-trust.

What I don't know is why can't this happen? Apple licencing of DRM? or record execs (RIAA) being a PITA?
Why can't I start selling music on my own, just set up shop and go?

Re:Legal action for price fixing? (2, Insightful)

Infinityis (807294) | about 9 years ago | (#13689035)

Your comment makes it sound as though the RIAA does not already employ price gouging on CDs. When they all work together to set a price, and then complain that people aren't buying, that's a price fixing at it's finest.

If the RIAA had their way, they'd have a cut of everyone's taxes go towards "artist appreciation" (i.e. their pockets) to offset their estimated losses from pirating. And they'd still charge for CDs, downloaded songs, etc.

they want profits from ipod? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688844)

If they did that, jobs would give the RIAA a big "go fuck yourself" and sell ipods at cost for a while...

Re:they want profits from ipod? (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13688933)

if they did that, Jobs would give the RIAA a big "go fuck yourself" and sell ipods at cost for a while

Worse! Steve Jobs could make HIS OWN RECORDING COMPANY! *GASP*
RIAA, meet your nemesis.

(Boy, these times are getting more and more interesting)

Finally... (3, Insightful)

Ikn (712788) | about 9 years ago | (#13688845)

The recording industry is 'picking on someone it's own size'. Apple may not be able to really compare equally with the entire industry, but it has enough notoriety, money, marke share, and general influence that I don't think the RIAA or anyone else is really going to want to get into a legal / PR brawl with them.

Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg (5, Insightful)

metternich (888601) | about 9 years ago | (#13688846)

It's probably just a bluff, but if the Music Industry does go through with this it would be incredibly stupid of them. I know it would be contrary to their agreements with Apple Records, but if the music execs do go ahead with this, I think Apple should start selling music directly from the musicians rather than going through the labels. They could simultaneously reduce the prices and give the musicians much more than they get under their current contracts.

Re:Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688957)

Musicians with big label contracts have puppet strings firmly attached. Sure, they might like to make more money via direct sales through Apple but the sales side of the music biz is 98% promotion, not fan devotion.

If I were Jobs... (2, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | about 9 years ago | (#13688848)

a nice move would be to call for price cuts - about 50% would be about right.

Jobs should do this in front of Congress, if available.

I'll bet he could disclose how little it costs to distribute the songs, and pose the musical question - "How Much Profit?"

Deal with the devil..... (1)

big-giant-head (148077) | about 9 years ago | (#13688849)

I feel for Jobs and Apple, but he had to know when he got involved with these guys, he was making a deal with the devil.... Now the devil wants his soul, or in this case a large chunk of the profits from Apples' iPods.

Re:Deal with the devil..... (3, Insightful)

ZenPirate (562047) | about 9 years ago | (#13688951)

I feel for the music industry, because they were stupid enough to challenge Jobs to a Mexican standoff.

In other news... (4, Funny)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 9 years ago | (#13688856)

Ford and GM announced today that unless Exxon and Shell start sharing gasoline revenues, future SUVs will run on ethanol.

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

metternich (888601) | about 9 years ago | (#13689037)

Cute, but a more accurate analogy would be, "Exxon and Shell announced that unless Ford and GM gave them a share of SUV revenues they'd stop selling Gas to SUV owners."

do the math (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | about 9 years ago | (#13688857)

12 songs, with album cover art and liner art, about 15$. A little more than a dollar a song.

1 song, no art or media, a dollar a song. Sounds fair to me.

re: do the math (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13689038)

12 songs, with album cover art and liner art, about 15$.
1 song, no art or media, a dollar a song.

Seeing how the RIAA get mad and cry like children: PRICELESS.

Price fixing? (2, Insightful)

vena (318873) | about 9 years ago | (#13688861)

now, IANAL, but isn't attempting to force pricing schemes on the retail end illegal? aren't they only allowed to change their wholesale price to the retailer?

Re:Price fixing? (2, Interesting)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 9 years ago | (#13689044)

now, IANAL, but isn't attempting to force pricing schemes on the retail end illegal?

Nope, it happens all the time, at least in Canada. I recently bought some 33" Goodyear MT/R tires for my Jeep. Vendor couldn't publicly quote a price for them in writing because he'd lose his license to sell goodyear tires.

While I agree it's anti-competitive, it happens in industry all the time.

Apple is in a losing position here (0)

Nuttles1 (578165) | about 9 years ago | (#13688863)

Obviously the music industry is not very interested in changing their music pricing system. Look at there handling of the music distribution system! The music industry is fighting to keep their revenues at the same rate as their golden years. For apple this means they have to bow down to the music industry. The music industry will not back down. Given that Ipods and selling music is a big thing for apple they will bend over and take it from the music industry. Right or wrong, that is the way it will probably go. Apple needs to create a new innovative product anyways. That is their strength. The should ride out the ride of the Ipod and Itunes as long as possible, but have the next cash cow ready by the time the party is over for Ipod/itunes.

99 cents is already too much (1, Interesting)

Brandon K (888791) | about 9 years ago | (#13688864)

Especially when I can get it in a much friendlier format for free.

Now, I'm not trying to advocate piracy of any sorts in this post. But EVERYBODY knows about the popular P2P networks. If you raise the prices, more people will stop buying.

It is like the classic supply and demand scenario, but there isn't much demand, and the guy next door is handing out stuff for free.

'bout normal (5, Insightful)

Nf1nk (443791) | about 9 years ago | (#13688865)

The recording industry never saw a cash cow they didn't want to kill.

Apple Frickers! (1)

AlysseumWarrior (770815) | about 9 years ago | (#13688867)

I say let them pull the plug, let his lable get less exposure. How can iTunes be giving less money to the music industry than Napster or the other monthly paying services. Im sure i f you average their sales out it is less than a dollar a song. If the music execs want a piece of the iPod market, tell them to go make their own iPod and sell it.

classic example (4, Interesting)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 9 years ago | (#13688870)

of giant businesses who seem to have no idea just how good they've got it.

this is 2005.

the fact that people are still paying for downloads at all (including me, I have well over 200 iTunes songs) in 2005, YEARS after Napster started the easy-as-pie method of music aquisition... do the music companies really want to go ahead with this? do they want to return to the days of talking about free tunes on Napster instead of paying for iTunes?

Could be the best thing to happen to Music (5, Interesting)

NatteringNabob (829042) | about 9 years ago | (#13688872)

I'd love to see Jobs tell the RIAA members to go screw themselves and open up iTunes as a 'label' for independent artists most of whom would probably be happy to take a much smaller cut then the leaches at the labels do. Talented muscians don't need multi-million dollar marketing campaigns to be successful, they just need an audience. And iTunes could deliver that audience much more efficiently than Warner or Sony/Columbia ever could.

Price-fixing lawsuit? (3, Informative)

crimethinker (721591) | about 9 years ago | (#13688874)

Did I read the record execs comments correctly? They want to artificially inflate the price of some songs? Gee, I wonder if their bravado has anything to do with the fact that they made a hella lot more money on price-fixing CD's than they had to pay in penalties when they were finally busted.

Or maybe they need the money; for all I know, the price of snorting coke off a stripper's breasts has gone up dramatically in the last year or so.


What is the motive? (1)

pmike_bauer (763028) | about 9 years ago | (#13688877)

Did I miss something? What is the motive for all this greediness? Are the record labels losing money? Are they about to go out of business?
If they keep up this behavior, its only a matter of time before Apple starts dealing with the artists directly. Why not?

Go Apple (1)

sheared (21404) | about 9 years ago | (#13688882)

Although they will likely cave in eventually, it would be fun to see Apple resist, and somehow pull out a victory in the end.

Okay.... (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 9 years ago | (#13688889)

1. Apple needs to make a deal with Apple Records to free themselves from any restrictions.
2. Apple starts a "record" company.
3. Apple doesn't screw artists and big names flock to them.
4. Apple uses "pod casts" to replace radio air play to promote new artists.
5. Apple cuts out the middle man so artists and Apple now split the profit so each side makes more money.

It is the end of the world as Warner and Sony knows it... And we all feel fine.

You are smoking something (4, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | about 9 years ago | (#13689019)

No. In the case of "Big name artists", who cares about their new Albums? You only care about their back catalog (i.e. albums they have already recorded.)

By definition every single record that comes out is a crap shoot. So, let's say Apple could sign, let's say Paul McCartney. That won't help them with Beatles music, Wings, or McCartney's solo albums from the 80s. The best you could hope for is signing an established artist who is making hit albums currently.

These people either already have gone independent, or else they are probably already in the pocket of the record companies. I don't see this plan working for any established artists.

For new artists, sure they way to go seems like being independent and marketing yourself via the web and via iTMS. I'm not sure how this gets you any radio play, or on MTV, but it probably beats the extremely bad deal that most people get from record labels. Again, I'm not sure what Apple would have to gain by being "their record company". Why not just let independent labels sell via ITMS? Otherwise, Apple would end up funding marketing efforts for thousands of flop albums.

Again, the problem is the existing back catalog that the labels own.

At the risk of sounding obvious ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688893)

The execs would have been right had the iPod been a total flop when it was released (prior to all of the digital download services), and then magically transformed into a goldmine as soon as the iTunes Music Store opened.

Obviously that's not the case. While I'm not 100% against a more structured pricing scheme, I do think it takes away from the simplicity offered by iTMS. Doing this will probably just push a lot of people back to P2P for their music needs.

Unbelievable... (1)

kurt_ram (906111) | about 9 years ago | (#13688894)

Oh my God. The Music Industry is even more evil than I had thought. Atleast now, they are fighting with a giant who can fight back. I have never been a fan of Apple. But this has given me a new respect for Apple and Steve.

Don't dream (2, Informative)

imr (106517) | about 9 years ago | (#13688900)

There was a fight years ago between TV channels and Record compagnies about Videos.
The TVs didnt want to pay because they were doing free advertisements for the records, the Record companies wanted money because the TVs were doing money showing the videos.
And yes the sales of records were going up thanks to the music videos. Well, TV channels had to pay anyway. End of the story.
As long as you give money to pay the records or whatever is coming from those record companies, they are controling the market, they are controlling the music, they are controlling the medias.

Give your money to alternative music channels that respect your rights and the music and the artists.

Yay Apple... Boo RIAA (1)

Xepherys2 (174396) | about 9 years ago | (#13688901)

I believe that 99 cents per song is just about right, since I can pick and choose the songs I want, without paying for the fluff of filler music I don't care for. I'm not a huge Apple customer, but I've always been a fan of what they do. They have always tended to pay more attention to their customers than to their industry partners, and my hat's off to them for that. I'm also impressed with their initial strong stance against changing pricing policies. I hope that Apple continues to move technology forward, even in the fact of the recording industry and their constant attempts to drive technology backwards and fair use into the ground entirely. Huzzah for Apple!

Oil Company demading share of SUV sales (0, Redundant)

sxmjmae (809464) | about 9 years ago | (#13688903)

It is like Oil Company's demanding a share of all gas powered vehicles.
As with out gas the vehicles would not run.

The same linkage between music sales and ipods can be made for vehicles and gas.

Maybe the record company needs to be hit with a racketeering charge or two before they smarten up. After all they are acting like a criminal organization.

I'm taking my ball and going home! (1)

saucercrab (855892) | about 9 years ago | (#13688904)

What Michael Nash said: "What if Jobs says 39 cents or 29 cents per download - what then? The industry can say, 'OK we'll cut him off - very few people buy music from digital downloads.'" What we heard: "DAAAAAAAD! *sniff!* Steve isn't sharing enough! *sniff!* I want you to make him share or take away his toys!"

Is that you, Lance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13689005)


The arrogance is sickening (0, Flamebait)

chia_monkey (593501) | about 9 years ago | (#13688907)

The arrogance of the music industry is just plain sickening. I'm coming at it from so many different angles. I've got loads of friends in bands, technology, law, and business. The labels will rape the poor artists blind if they don't have a good lawyer. The fact the artist barely sees any money from a CD sale is sad. Then you've got the RIAA who is still stuck in the Bronze Age, dragging their clubs around thinking they can do business now as they have in the past. If they don't see what they like, they sue instead of changing their business practices.

I almost want the labels to pull out. I want their arrogant plan to blow up in their face as they watch iPod owners burn the CDs they already own and purchase less music online. You know piracy will go up again and the labels will see 0% profit as opposed to the hundreds of thousands they've made BECAUSE of Apple and iPod sales. As Red from "That 70's Show" so eloquently states..."dumbasses".

Not enough quotes in TFA (1)

aarku (151823) | about 9 years ago | (#13688910)

A Warner Music executive has threatened to cut off Apple if Steve Jobs continues to refuse to give ground on iTunes Music Store pricing.

Okay, what did he actually say and in what context? This reeks of sensationalist journalism. Of course, I'm sure I'll be modded down for not going along and saying "WTF EVIL RIAA!!" along with the rest.

Buy teh music companies (4, Interesting)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 9 years ago | (#13688923)

That is wht the Tech big wigs need to do. Google should buy one, yahoo, MS and Apple.

I watched a business show about this and tehy said that each of those companies market caps are large enough to buy one company each. then all you need to do is make the tech companies share the catalouges amoungst each other.

Tech companies that are trying to sell their technology will have a friendler stance about copyright and the consumer than the record companies would.

Idiots (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | about 9 years ago | (#13688930)

This will only be the music execs(tm)(R)(C)(asdfghjkl;)(OMG-DMCA-WTFLOLBBQ) shooting themselves in the foot. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they probably think they hava a patent on music too, best not to risk a lawsuit.
Patent Pending, no. fiftybajillion

Apple should empower their users politically (2, Insightful)

Safe Sex Goddess (910415) | about 9 years ago | (#13688932)

The only way to fight lobbyists with money is by organizing voters who have none. It seems to me that Apple could lead the charge in organizing mp3 listeners to turn copyright law back from the draconian direction the music industry has been forcing it down.

One first step would be to make it illegal for anyone to receive financial renumeration for lobbying a congress critter. Why should a group or individual with money be able to hire someone to go lobby when we working stiffs have to juggle career, family, and fun with any political activities that can be fit in?

Let's level the playing field and return government back to the citizens instead of the highest bidder.

So what about it Apple?

Would that be legal? (1)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | about 9 years ago | (#13688943)

I hope Apple doesn't budge as I would like to see how this plays out. I think it would do nothing but make the music industry look like bigger scumbags than they already are. Plus Apple is already working with indy artist to get their stuff in iTunes. I am sure that pisses off the labels too.

Correction (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | about 9 years ago | (#13688947)

The PCPro article is apparently* citing an article on The Register that was later corrected. The Register's correction is here: ic_sorry/ []

These remarks were made by another panelist, Kenneth Hertz, partner at Goldring Hertz and Lichtenstein LLP, a law firm representing major recording industry artists.

*: I say apparently because after viewing it once, I got a registration page, and it's too late on a Friday to bother with BugMeNot.

bitter pill (1)

HeetMyser (655524) | about 9 years ago | (#13688948)

This has all got to be pretty disillusioning for Steve, such a child of the 70s and an avid music freak. I keep wondering when the big backlash against the music industry is going to happen. Does anyone else get the feeling that they just keep pushing and pushing only to see how far they can go before the consumer says, "oh, screw this." I would LOVE to pay money directly to an artist I like for the music he or she produces. Buying CDs now just makes me feel dirty.

I only buy from iTunes (2, Interesting)

t'mbert (301531) | about 9 years ago | (#13688952)

I quit buying cd's when the ipod came out. I'm on windows, so I had to wait a while with no cd purchases until the PC ipod units came out. Now I buy music online all the time.

So yes, ipod sales drive online music sales. The prices aren't out of line either, especially for whole albums, which is what I tend to buy.

What miffs me are albums that are only partially available. Why do they do this when they also have the option of making the song available on the album only? I don't get it.

Also, doesn't this mean that as a song rises in popularity, it gets more expensive? That's kinda what they want, right, so wouldn't that drive demand down? Economics 101, HELLO!

It is all posturing... (1)

$nickname_212 (805232) | about 9 years ago | (#13688955)

in order to broker an agreement later on. Apple needs to make the case the iPods help sell music, and the music industry needs to insist that they are more than promotional material to sell iPods. In a sense, this conflict is a no brainer. Apple will eventually sell music at variable pricing, but they probably want to set the terms and get more profit in turn. In addition, with the music labels demanding variable pricing, Apple can deflect the criticism that it isn't them that are being greedy; the music industry is the boogie man and they are already the boogie man so might as well let them hold the mantle. But I don't expect Apple to give up the iTunes Music Store because it has brand recognition and business value probably way into the future as a content deliverer. They are also not going to cut off there nose to spite their face; in other words, they are not going to get rid of a revenue stream they control. Revenue is the life blood of any company and this is one that has developed quite successfully. So, why take a position that might threaten the loss of this lifeblood? Only to be able to come to the table and broker a sweet deal; it is part bluff, part truth.

Who has the power? (1)

waterlogged (210759) | about 9 years ago | (#13688958)

This is just my opinion.

If I were Jobs, I would call their bluff. I would find the most offending label and preempt them. I'd cut them off completely. As a double entente I would also call for all Ipod users to boycott any music from said label for the span of one month. Typically in history, the only thing that gets results in any battle is when you hit them in the pocket book. Similar tactics helped in the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, and the ERA. Its all words and gesturing usually, but the real results come from the almighty dollar and its influence.

End Opinion

In other news (1)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | about 9 years ago | (#13688962)

Recording Industry execs prove their own stupidity! I mean, threaten the biggest online music store over pulling your music? Don't want that extra revenue stream, eh? If you say so...

I'm sure Mr. Jobs will respond with something resembling laughter, or perhaps a "Sure, go ahead, see if we care." At least they'll look like the bad guys.

~sigh~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688966)

The utter and total hypocrisy of the record and movie companies is getting so far out of hand there aren't even words for it. These past two attempts to extort money (extort |ik?stôrt| verb obtain (something) by force, threats, or other unfair means) from Apple are undoubtedly some of the most inane that I've read in a while. I for one hope that more people begin voting with their wallets and stop supporting the money grubbing assholes at the major labels.

Logic: (1)

SamAdam3d (818241) | about 9 years ago | (#13688968)

1. Help build largest music store.
2. Make lots of money selling music in store.
3. Argue with owner of store.
4. Leave store. ...
5. Profit!!!

I was just saying... (1)

lasmith05 (578697) | about 9 years ago | (#13688972)

last week, what was to really stop the RIAA from changing the terms of the deal when their contract is renewed. They own the content, so they can most likely make the rules. Its a valiant effort on Apple's part to try and keep music cheap, but in the end I think Jobs will have to fold and charge more.

Anybody know the music industry? (1)

FreshFunk510 (526493) | about 9 years ago | (#13688973)

I'm curious on how binding contracts are between artists and labels. I wonder if artists are able to simply go directly to iTunes instead of the big 3 music distributors to get their music out. Of course the downside of that would be that their distribution would be primarily digital and they wouldn't get all the marketing and leverage of a big distribution company.

Slashdot EeziPost (TM) MK I.rc2 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13688974)

[X] Another: [ ] Dupe [X] Apple iTunes Article [X] WTF [ ] $editor is a dork

[ ] Frist psot [ ] link to GNAA [ ] Link to goatse [ ] $random_drivel

[X] I Haven't RTFA, but... $random_opinionated_comment

[ ] Slashdotted already!. I bet their server runs on $topic_item too

[ ] Soul_sucking registration required

[ ] Mod Parent [ ] up [ ] Down

[X] Fsck: [ ] SCO [ ] Micro$oft [ ] DMCA [ ] DRM [ ] MPAA [X] RIAA [ ] Google [ ] Bush [ ] You all

[ ] I for one welcome our new $topic_item overlords

[ ] Imagine a beowulf cluster of those

[ ] In Soviet Russia, $topic_item owns you!

[ ] Meh!

[ ] Netcraft confirms $topic_item is: [ ] dead [ ] dying

[ ] But have the inventors thought of what will happen if $random_amateur_insight

[ ] Once again the USA is clamping down on my [ ] Amendment rights.

[ ] You insensitive clod

[X] But people who download music from P2P networks are more likely to buy the album

[ ] Cue DVD Jon-type crack in 3..2..1

[ ] Torrent, anyone?

In fairness... (2, Informative)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | about 9 years ago | (#13688981)

The record companies' position is based on the dubious argument that digital downloads sell iPods. In fact all the evidence points to the opposite: that iPod sales have driven demand for downloads. The vast majority of digital music sales are made by iPod owners.

Not to give the labels too much credit (they certainly give themselves more than enough), but in fairness, I think they do have a bit of a point with this. iPod sales did rise dramatically after the introduction of the iTunes Music Store to levels well above what they'd been immediately before (and they've been going up ever since). That said, it may also have something to do with the boost to the iPod's Windows-friendliness around the same time (the 3rd gen iPods, which introduced dual-platform support in a single box and the ability to use USB as well as FireWire), or simply market awareness and the "fashion" factor building to a head.

In other words, I don't think we (those of us outside the industry, without access to their market research) truly know to what extent iPod sales are driving iTMS sales and to what extent iTMS sales are driving iPod sales, and I think a decent case could be argued in either direction.

That said, the music industry's apparent sense of entitlement to a piece of Apple's iPod revenue, and its threat to pull out of a store offering their product in a medium that both offers them some control over how consumers use it and reduces the costs associated with manufacturing, shipping, storing, etc. physical goods to virtually nothing, are pretty damn ludicrous. They ought to be on their knees thanking Apple for finding a way for them to generate earnings while dramatically reducing their costs; instead they're demanding more slop in the trough. I'd dearly love to see them pull out and then watch their earnings disappear as consumers finally decide they've had enough of this shit and spend their music money on alternative content providers, but I know better than to expect that.

The RIAA has a point. (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | about 9 years ago | (#13688982)

iTMS is destroying the RIAA's right to speech:

1. The RIAA can't pat iTMS DJs and Producers to force users to download the hot song of the week.

2. The RIAA can't pay iTMS to list the proper version of the Top 40 Charts.

3. The RIAA can't control which markets get their music, heaven forbid a black consumer getting a listen to Kenny G by accident.


Didn't CD sales increase the sales of CD players? (2, Insightful)

ivanmarsh (634711) | about 9 years ago | (#13688989)

Why should Apple be treated differently than all the other music player manufacturers in history?

Did the music industry get a cut of Sony's CD player sales? Toshiba's? JVC's?

It's time for the RIAA to have a RICO case brought against it.

good luck (2, Insightful)

nunchux (869574) | about 9 years ago | (#13688993)

I don't think there are many who love the iTunes music store so much that they run out and buy iPods. Sales may take a hit if the store is brought down, but the iPod won't lose its status any time soon. Anyway, there are so many other ways to acquire music for it-- and more importantly, most of us already have the collection to fill it.

What I think we may be looking at is that the labels want their own online music services (and in the case of Sony, also sell their own players) so there is no moody Apple middleman between them and the consumer. Again, Sony is already there, and others may be too. I'm not sure where the trails of Warner's parent and sister companies lead.

I think Apple needs to do a "week without iTunes" (4, Interesting)

artifex2004 (766107) | about 9 years ago | (#13688994)

The music industry needs to see what would happen if they kill this cash cow by trying to milk it too hard. One day would probably not be sufficient, so let's have a week, or maybe just 5 days, where you can't buy anything from the iTunes store. Make it be the last week or 5 days days in a reporting period, because a lot of the pent-up demand will recover the next week, probably.

Better yet, let's see Steve Jobs say, okay, you want variable pricing, we'll hook up with Magnatunes and CDBaby and sell their tracks for 50-75 cents, or something. Those indy labels could really use the visibility, and the artists might see more revenue even at that lower rate than the ones beholden to RIAA and the big corporations. Some of them might even ask Apple to distribute their tracks as m4as, not m4ps, and would probably volunteer a lot more free tracks of the week.

Also, I can't believe they want some of the revenue stream from iPod sales. They had nothing to do with their creation, sales, marketing, etc. They're just becoming more obviously money-hungry than ever before.

Sorry, it's a free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13689002)

Entertainers are so damn greedy. They're just a bunch of working-class fools like the rest of us -- what makes them think they deserve so much money for their simple little melodies?? 90% of their music these days sucks so bad: if you ask me, getting folks to pay pennies for it is a phenomenon to behold.

Music ain't like gas; I can live without that extra Paul McCartney track that nobody likes anyway. Shucks, I'll get lame tracks off my gnutella client long before I'll pay a dime over 39.

Ten points (1)

labratuk (204918) | about 9 years ago | (#13689003)

Ten points goes to the first comedy "Isn't Steve just great fighting for our rights this way? This is what makes Apple so different. I love my iPod..." post.

Here's a motive (1)

evil agent (918566) | about 9 years ago | (#13689011)

I think the music industry is so desperate (and delirious at this point) that they believe that raising the prices on iTunes will send consumers back to buying cds. Which is of course ridiculous.

Let the increase in file sharing commence!

How I'd like it to play out (4, Insightful)

chmilar (211243) | about 9 years ago | (#13689016)

Here is how I'd like to see the scenario play out:
  1. Record company cuts Apple off.
  2. Loss of revenue for record company.
  3. Record company crawls back to Apple. Jobs negotiates new terms, and record company has worse deal (lower price and/or lower percentage) than now.

Well (1)

Pooldraft (756431) | about 9 years ago | (#13689027)

This leads to one conclusion, i guess i will continue to use P2P hahahahaha. !Creative Commons!

Mark the RIAA songs (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 years ago | (#13689029)

A feature I asked for from Apple a long time ago was information about whether or not the label distributing the song was independant or not.

Not only would this be a good time for Apple to implement this as a sign that they won't back down, it would finally free me of checking RIAA Radar [] everytime I go to the iMS to download a song!

Why iTunes? (2, Insightful)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | about 9 years ago | (#13689031)

Why are they going after iTunes, which coss 99 cents, while many (most?) other WMA services offer tunes for 89? And why do they care how much the retailer actually changes the consumer for the song? Shouldn't the record company just be concerned about how much money it's getting from each one, regardless of the retailer's price (leave the reatailer to decide how much profit they want after that)?

Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13689040)

If they want to kill the goose...then they don't deserve the eggs.

its about profits (2, Insightful)

prk60091 (640885) | about 9 years ago | (#13689043)

the real story is that now w/itunes there is a 3d party who has real life numbers on music sales. guess who doesn't want that info out of their control? the companies. why you ask? because the artists now have the ability to verify the companies audits. hmmmm whoz getting fsckd
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