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 <a href=”>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.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Music Business Blames Apple Again”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Minus says:

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.

randdickson says:

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.

Jon Johannsen says:

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.

g. thomas furgerson says:

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).


giafly says:

Re: 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

Rikko says:

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.

sbeebe (user link) says:

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.


sbbeebe (user link) says:

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.

Jay says:

The bottom

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...