“Last year, Apple marketed a ‘limited-edition Beck version’ of its iPod with no actual Beck music on it, just a little engraving of Beck’s name on the back of the device. Imagine how much more successful and buzzworthy (a crucial concept for Apple) it would have been if that iPod came with everything the guy ever recorded (capturing casual fans) and a generous helping of unreleased material (pulling in hard-core fanatics) — which still leaves room for hundreds of CDs’ worth of music. But such customized iPods are just a necessary stepping-stone toward the biggest opportunity: premium placement on all iPods. If Apple’s portable music players retain their hegemony in the market and the market keeps growing, there will be no better place for record companies to present new music to potential customers,” writes Jimmy Guterman for Business 2.0.
Guterman continues, “None of this will happen soon. I called Apple, and a spokesperson said the company was not in discussions on selling iPod real estate. Then I spoke to three executives at the five major labels (two never called back) and they confirmed that no such talks are going on. But before he got off the phone, one of them shouted into his speakerphone, ‘Damn, we should do that. You know who at Apple we should talk to about that?'” Full article here.
In a meeting last Thurday, “Jobs told indie executives that Apple will not consider the size of each musician’s record label when it promotes songs on iTunes. The computer maker says it will not take money for banner ads or front-page placements.” More here.