Digital music panel: Apple could become the MTV of the record industry

“Evolution, convergence, and integration: these were just some of the lofty concepts thrown around at Digital Hollywood during the ‘Music Industry – Brand Extension in Games, Wireless and TV’ panel,” Digital Music News reports.

DMN reports, “Most felt that format incompatibility is the major issue in the emerging space, potentially spelling ‘the death of digital music’ if not resolved in time. Record labels were once again scolded for their continued slow movement in the space, with Hirschhorn vowing to save the business ‘from themselves.’ iTunes received a predictable share of the talk, with some predicting that Apple could eventually create an MTV-style power relationship to the record industry. Could continued dominance in the digital music space eventually allow Apple to call the shots?”

Full article here.


  1. If Apple could weild that kind of power than the first thing I would do if I was them would be to make sure all digital distributions were done in AAC. Not just for the sake of iPod sales but so that the standard still remains open. Apple could then license Fairplay to the recording industry and allow them to make the deals themselves.

  2. “Music Industry – Brand Extension in Games, Wireless and TV”

    there are so many brand mistakes in this….

    jesus.. why oh why do ppl think that if you smother the customer with your brand, anywhere and everywhere, it will HELP your brand…

    oh well, the more dumbasses who jump on the ‘synergy’ gravy train the better those who actually get it like apple and mcdonalds….

    ugh.. this is the kind or retarded bs that really gets me…

    ppl who know nothing about business, hyping up a conference about spreading BS and ignorance..

  3. And another thing…I read somewhere that Apple doesn’t own Fairplay, but rather chose to license that DRM for iTMS. Meaning it’s not up to Apple to license Fairplay, but rather up to other Music Stores to elect that DRM themselves. Does anyone here remember the link to that site or article?

  4. Just because Apple licenses Fairplay doesn’t necessarily mean that others could license it too. Apple could have insisted on an exclusive license (or exclusive in certain markets). If that weren’t correct, I bet others would try to sell songs for the iPod since it is the biggest portable music market (i.e., for downloads).

  5. ah…no

    iTMS is just a music store. Will it change how people BUY music? Yes. Will it change the way popular music is marketed? No. You can buy any CD on earth off the internet right now. The only difference is with iTMS you get to listen to it right away. Plus there’s this: iTMS is big now because it was there first. (I don’t count Napster since they got their pants sued off and are very likely going under) Sooner or later the record companies will realize they can run their OWN digital download service. Some, like SpinART, already do. And let us not forget MTV itself. Eventually will be offering streaming video with digital-quality sound, complete with a link to the artist’s website where you can download their latest track or album for whatever price they see fit. Once the big record companies get on board it’s a safe bet that the days of iTMS are numbered.

    just my opinion, though…

  6. beatsme,

    om a way you are right about the record companies in that they could eventually reproduce their outdated distribution model digitally and kill iTunes but thats not going to come near to happening until the media secure machines are ready to hit the market. the record companies are going to want their DRM built into all these devices and content. Apples business is small compared to the total possible music download market. Whether iTunes survives is more of a function of whether people stop buying Macs. As long as there are satisfied Mac users there will be a market for iTunes. The wildcard is whether the record companies, after they get into the business try to force Apple to modify the DRM to be as restrictive as the dark side (windows wma based music stores) or will it continue as is.

    In other words I have not doubt that as long as Apple continues to make insanely great products, there will be a customer base. As long as they continue to make a profit the company will exist.

  7. citizenx

    oh I agree completely, Apple is not going anywhere. I just think that iTMS, at least in it’s current conception, is not going to be around more than a coupla years. And I think you’re right about the record companies wanting DRM built into everything. So I guess the real question is, whose DRM will wind up being the industry standard?

  8. It shouldn’t be a question of what company creates it. It should be created and used by anyone, with no royalty, public domain. All companies would be on an equal footing at that point.

    I point to the model of television where they chose a standard, NTSC, and if you wanted to broadcast, build tv’s, etc, they used it. The standard was not even the best one of the day, but it worked and it worked for decades and decades.

    Will this stifle innovation. No, unless you consider finding better and better ways to keep you from playing your music on your new player innovation.

    Innovation is ITMS. Innovation is the iPod. Innovation isn’t Fairplay vs MS DRM. That could be decided by a standards comittee.

  9. “jesus.. why oh why do ppl think that if you smother the customer with your brand, anywhere and everywhere, it will HELP your brand…”

    worked for microsoft

    i know you’re just being funny.. of course.. but the thing is.. did it really work for ms?

    they started out in the business of making other people rich.. going out and saying.. hey check out these cheap solutions… the develops were making money the customers were pumping efficiency.. everyone was happy (as soon as apple’s high price and lack of software made the MS solution the obvious one)..

    but here’s the thing…

    MS meant business applications..

    obviously, the windows franchise can be interpreted as beneficial to businesses and in the early days of MS, pretty much a piece of junk for home users…

    so over the past 25 years they’ve basically warmed up to the apple dream of computers working well with non-techies.. and by doing that they’ve abandoned the “we’ll make you rich” mantra…

    the epitomy of this is.. of course.. the Xbox.. something designed purely to grow MS into a new foreign market.. the home living entertainment unit…

    notice how they don’t call it the Microsoft Xbox.. Xbox is the brand.. and the less they mention the blue screen of death, the better…

    by NOT specializing, MS is allowing its drones to get distracted..and in 5 years time what will Microsoft mean..

    it’s a company.. it’s windows… a company that makes software… the brand is ubiquitous because of windows, but its brand is NOT strong.. and for god’s sake.. if putting an apple logo on a piece of hardware increases its value about 15%, then putting the MS logo on a piece of electronics does the exact opposite…

    MS in the customers mind represents the idea that ‘it’s worth it to put up with this hell for the greater good’ ie. compatibility

  10. What does MTV have to do with music? Aren’t they that lame reality show and guys shooting paintballs into each others crotches channel? Who are these people at this conference and what are talking about?

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