“Building the iTunes Music Store library is a collaborative effort that even Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs participates in. The programming director of the store is a former radio deejay who’s constantly looking for places to find old and out-of-print music. His team of music programmers are experts in world music, hip-hop, rock and classical, to name a few genres. In addition to their own expertise, the iTunes staff regularly collects suggestions from Apple Computer employees, customers and anyone who’s looking to fill a hole in his or her music collection,” Katie Dean writes for Wired.
“‘Even Steve himself will occasionally send me an e-mail pointing me in the direction of a missing album or artist that he’s looking for, and we’ll go and find it,’ said Alex Luke, director of music programming and label relations for iTunes,” Dean writes. “On the conference call about the first birthday of the iTunes Music Store, Jobs said that getting such songs online is one of the next hurdles for online services and the music industry. In general, he said, labels have less than a third of the music in their vaults available for sale because it’s too expensive to distribute such CDs to stores.”
“But to make songs available online, record companies wouldn’t have to press CDs, get them to stores and worry about returns. ‘It’s a one-time cost,’ Luke said. ‘Once it’s been encoded and delivered, it’s in the digital marketplace.’ And if anyone can get the labels to open the vaults, Jobs can, analysts said,” Dean writes. “‘What Jobs is saying is, ‘We’d be happy to take all this content that is rotting away in warehouses and turn it into a new revenue source for you,” said Barry Ritholtz, a market strategist with Maxim Group, a money-management firm. ‘It’s probably a bit much to say Jobs is saving the music industry, but he’s showing them the way into the digital age. They have been stumbling around drunk in the dark.'”
Full article here.