Music Business Blames Apple Again

from the it's-not-me,-it's-you dept

Major record labels have been annoyed with Apple for the way it prices music in the iTunes store, but with its power in the market, there's not a lot they can do. They will, however, continue to point the finger, now blaming Apple for flat download sales, saying its insistence on an across-the-board price of 99 cents per song is stunting growth. Other "critics" -- or rather a single critic, with BusinessWeek quoting the CEO of Apple rival Napster -- cite Apple's copy-protection technology and its refusal to let anybody else use it, which locks competing services out of iPods. What's slightly amusing is that, again, it was the big record labels' obsession with copy protection that gave Apple all this power. The labels act like there's nothing they can do if Apple tells them no, other than pull their music from iTunes, which they won't do given its role as market leader. There is something they can do -- open up their own store, and sell unrestricted MP3 files at whatever price they want. iPods, and and pretty much any other digital music player, can play those files. The labels' insistence on trying to control what people can do with the music they buy has gotten them into this mess, and it will take a reversal of that position to get them out.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:05am

    No Subject Given

    or you could just go buy a cd

     

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  2.  
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    Minus, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:08am

    No Subject Given

    True to that. It appears that the RIAA and its minions are too damn greedy for any kind of business. Either they complain about people stealing, or it's something else like under-pricing. In overall, Record companies should open their own store like you said. I personally dislike Jobs and his Apple for queers.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Kristen, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:12am

    Re: No Subject Given

    WORD!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    randdickson, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:22am

    Lack of control

    I think the only reason they are pissed is they can't control apple ... and they probably thought they could when they started the relationship. I mean, isn't 'content is king' the buzz phrase. In this case no; the medium/method is an apple is saying 'no' to them. I don't think NO is a word the music industry is used to hearing.

    Word to the music industry; I'm buying more music now, specifically due to iTunes, than I was before. Take the hint.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:34am

    Content is king

    lets not forget that as we go more digital with music we do lose much of the richness of sound. $.99 i feel is still to much 44.1khz sample of a song, reduce prices by the same 44.1 compression and lets see if that makes a difference in their wallet.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Jon Johannsen, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:38am

    Wake Up To "The Establishment"

    HELLO!! It's called Free Enterprise. I have the right to come out with a better idea than you have and charge what I want how I want. You can then choose to compete, add value or go out of business. It would be a GREAT day in history if the RIAA chose the last option. Keep up with technology or just fade away.

     

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  7.  
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    g. thomas furgerson, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:41am

    other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs, Ap

    What the labels and everyone is really mad about, and the reason Jobs won't license Fairplay, is that he never wanted to put DRM on the tracks. If they really want to compete, they could sell non-DRM tracks at a higher bit rate than Apple, with additional value adds, that Apple doesn't offer.

    All these stores could be selling more and more music, that could go on the iPod, just don't use DRM.

    Most importantly, it's the label's insistence on DRM that is the issue. I have more than 5 computers in my home, and Fairplay gets to be annoying at times.

    I find it funny that there is free water available, but people still buy bottled water (without DRM mind you).

    Peace,
    gthomas

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    3vilfixx, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:42am

    Re: Lack of control

    I just got an IPod for my wife, she'll probably begin buying music from iTunes due to her hating the fact that she buys a CD and hates 14 out of the 17 or so songs. Is it because they don't get enough money per song that they're whining? Rather silly methinks...

     

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  9.  
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    Rikko, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:53am

    Unrestricted MP3s

    I think the labels are still too afraid of a copyable song.. Yeah, an unrestricted MP3 means I can give it to all my friends...
    Thing is, I'd say the majority of music enthusiasts now who are likely to use their computer for any sort of music usage are also savvy enough to know how to get a pirate release of an album or re-record their protected media and encode it unrestricted (for traditional use, an analog recording of an MP3 fed through the phono jack is really good enough.. This is generally pop, not Tchaikovsky we're talking about).

    One day corporations might take a chance and see how things go when they try to be your friend instead of legal ramparts against the unwashed masses.
    If Google had a music service where you could just download MP3s and then click a "please pay $1 for the download you just made", how many people would click it? I would. How about if Sony BMG did that? Not a chance - I hate those fuckers.

     

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  10.  
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    sbeebe, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:54am

    It's all about control - of the artists

    I think Spolsky got it right. It's about labels wanting control over artists. Why else complain about what to everyone else appears to be quite successful.

    I don't think record labels will be around in 10 years. There will be more choice for consumers, it will be easier for new bands to get heard and suceed, music will cost less, and artists will make more money.

    I guess by inference you could say: labels limit consumer choice, make it onerous for new bands to get a break, make music prices higher than they need to be, and take money directly from artists pockets with no clear value add. ;)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Casey, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 9:56am

    Re: other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs

    ...where did you find free water? Last I checked, I pay $100/mo for water...

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 10:13am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Id rather not, given Sony's rootkit behaviour.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    eevil, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 10:14am

    jerk squad

    Why don't the recording companies make their own mp3 players, come up with their own download sites and prices? It might suck for us, the consumer, but at least they would have their precious "control" that they must have at all costs to them- and more importantly it would stop all their bitching!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Steve, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 10:20am

    Am I Missing Something

    Aren't CD un-encrypted? can't I throw a CD into my computer and rip a song to an MP3 with better quality than i-tunes?

    If so, then what good does making i-tunes protected? and why not sell non-DMR songs over the internet, if you are selling them in stores?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Dave, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 10:22am

    Re: other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs

    There's plenty of water available for free. Thanks to modern techniques, you can also pay to have it delivered to your home or business in a variety of different formats. Isn't technology wonderful?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    sbbeebe, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 10:49am

    Re: Am I Missing Something

    MOST CD's don't have any type of copy protection. But surely you must have seen all the fuss about the Sony rootkit debacle (see boing boing round up if somehow you've missed it).

    Point being, most CD's may not have copy protection (or DRM) BUT the music industrial will go to almost any (possibly even criminal) lengths to try to keep you from being able to enjoy what you purchased.

    Heck of business model. Punish your customers.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    giafly, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 11:45am

    Re: other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs

    RE: ...where did you find free water? Last I checked, I pay $100/mo for water...

    Sounds like you're getting ripped off. Water costs me about $1 per week.

    I switched to metered water about 3 years ago, which is so so cheap, compared to the way I used to buy it, that the water company still owes me money and I haven't paid a penny since. I'm an environmentalist, so I do a few simple water-conserving things, like taking daily showers rather than using the bath, and collecting rain in a barrel for my garden, and I end up using about 1 ton (1 cubic meter) of water each week, which costs about 1 dollar per week
    .

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Sv, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Content is king

    What the hell did you mean?

    Oh and 44.1 is not "compression" it's samplerate which reproduces accurately frequencies up to 22050 Hz. And no human can hear above that (unless maybe toddlers can, dunno).

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Sv, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 12:08pm

    Re: other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs

    >...where did you find free water? Last I checked, I pay $100/mo for water...< br>
    last I checked you can't copy and paste water

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 12:28pm

    Re: other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs

    > last I checked you can't copy and paste water< br>
    yes you can. it's just not called water anymore... :P

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Jay, Dec 13th, 2005 @ 3:35pm

    The bottom line.....money

    The love of money is the root of all evil. Always has been and always will be. The RIAA and everyone who is connected to them are greedy. It has gotten so bad that there's a lot of confusion.
    It's all about money. They don't want people to copy music-they want people to buy copies of cds. They want people to buy copies for all types of uses. Buy one for the car, one for the home, one for work-ect. This is what they want.
    You really have to be a millionare(Which I'm not)to be able to afford this.
    I think it's time for a little common sense here-the music industery will continue to go downhill as long as they keep the nonsense up.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    sharp, Dec 14th, 2005 @ 6:45am

    Re: other vendors can sell unrestricted MP3s, AACs

    > waters not important, were talking about music or...wait 1 buck a week wow nice. so a bath uses more water?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Amanda Rush, Dec 14th, 2005 @ 7:18am

    Re: It's all about control - of the artists

    I think what pisses the music industry off the most is that they're no longer calling the shots. Their strangle hold on artists is loosening, through no consent of their own. That, and they've been caught with their pants down when it comes to current technological trends.

     

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