Who Is EMI Talking To? Apple Doesn't Seem To Know
from the Apple-doesn't-think-it's-them... dept
EMI has said two things concerning their relationship with Apple in the last two days, and, based on Apple’s response, you have to wonder if it’s really Apple they’ve been talking to. The first, as has been widely reported, is that an EMI exec says they have an agreement with Apple to offer variable pricing on iTunes, getting away from the $0.99/song model. The record labels have been pushing for variable pricing for years, and it seems to filter out into the press every few months. We first heard about it in April of 2004, but it’s come up again and again since then. So, forgive us for not jumping up and writing about it when we hear it being discussed yet again. Part of the problem is that it still doesn’t make any sense. The labels aren’t supposed to have any say in retail pricing. They got in trouble when they did that for CD sales a few years ago. They can only set the wholesale price that they charge Apple (or other resellers). Anything else sounds an awful lot like illegal price fixing. If they want to raise prices, raise prices to Apple and let Apple make the decision how to handle the retail pricing. When this came out a couple months ago, Steve Jobs famously called the recording industry “greedy,” so it surprised a few folks to hear EMI say they worked out a deal with Jobs. However, another story that just came out raises even more questions. EMI is now saying their new copy protection technology (from Macrovision) will let songs play on iPods. Apple, apparently, has no clue what they’re talking about: “The information EMI provided regarding iTunes and iPod compatibility with Macrovision’s technology is not true and we have no idea why EMI made this statement.” Combine the two stories, and it might make you wonder if someone at EMI is actually talking to anyone at Apple, or if they’re just very confused?