Apple’s UK iTunes Music Store lacks indie punch

“Apple boasts about putting 10,000 songs in music fans’ pockets, but disgruntled British iTunes Music Store customers say Steve Jobs’ service just doesn’t measure up,” Robert Andrews reports for Wired News. “Jobs last week fronted a high-profile European launch for the popular download service, but was forced to go live without dozens of key artists such as The Strokes and The White Stripes, after falling out with the continent’s acclaimed independent labels.”

“Negotiations broke down on the eve of the debut, and Apple still hasn’t been able to offer an online licensing deal deemed acceptable to the indies, which make up a quarter of all European music sales,” Andrews reports. “The Association of Independent Music, which represents 820 U.K. labels, does not want its members to commit to the three-year, fixed-income deal it said is on the table.”

“Angered, many consumers have turned the iTunes software against its maker in a public demonstration against the shortage. Using the music service’s built-in playlist-sharing feature, they have created iMixes with titles like ‘iTunes needs more indies!’ Other users have used the song-ratings facility, designed to let listeners score each others’ taste in tunes, to vote the protest mixes to the very top of the [UK] iMix chart — an embarrassing marker of discontent,” Andrews writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’ll all work out, we hope. An aside (we’re just wondering), how “independent” can you be if you belong to an “association” that represents and negotiates for 820 labels as one?


  1. They are not going to sign the deal in the week following the announcement. Think about it, it is cool if Apple got them to sign before the announcement. Otherwise, they will wait for a month or so to find out who needs who more. So, just hold on and wait, things will fall in to their respective places.

  2. They will just see what they are missing out on, and then join in. Also Apple may give in on the three year part possibly down to 24 months, but why would you want less?

  3. yet another attempt to downplay the iTunes and iPod success. why don’t they go elsewhere, these complainers? see what the real alternatives are, and how apple stacks up after all.

    to me, it’s just an indication of how great the iTunes music store is. the format, design, and integration with the iPod is such that people are desperate to use it if they could find their favorite music.

    of course, the above article doesn’t care to mention that it was the Indies’ attempt to get more than anyone else that caused the breakdown. so, is it really Apple’s fault? same deal for everyone else, but somehow the Indies think they can raise the price at their option later on? what on earth kind of lame deal is that? if it’s good enough for the others, why not for the Indies?

    clueless people… blaming apple for everything. why don’t they haunt their favorite artists to sign onto iTunes? freaking idiots. maybe I should yell at Apple for not making iPod adapters with my 1995 Saab without a cassette deck. yeah, that’s the right place to vent. Not Saab, of course.

  4. From what I hear, the indies did not expect iTMS success anywhere near the scale of what Apple announced (800K songs the first week)

    In retrospect, some labels are kicking themselves for allowing themselves to be dragged away with certain more tenacious parties.

  5. The throwaway comment against unions does absolutely no service at all. Independent labels have no option but to group together in order to get their voice heard alongside BMG, Sony, et al.

    It was grossly unfair and a huge mistake for Jobs to attempt to shackle the indies to a fixed term deal. As the piece points out, they represent 25% of music sales in the three bigges markets [UK, Frnace, Germany]. It is foolish to ignore that, or for MDN to join in with the cheap jibes, and commercial suicide if iTunes ignores them for much longer.

    Remember there are some major bands (and more importantly, big sellers) on indie labels that are almost completely unrepresented on iTunes UK: Radiohead, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Oasis, Orbital, Supergrass, Gomez, Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferdinand… are just a few. There are many, many more.

  6. People are morons, acting that way because the Indies aren’t there yet. Before posting an idiotic iMix, maybe they should ask themselves why the Indies aren’t there. Did Apple not give them an opportunity? No, they were given the same deal everybody else was. They didn’t take it because they’re really no different than the big labels. It’s all about greed. Maybe instead of posting their crappy iMix, they should bombard the Indie labels e-mail and tell them to quit being so greedy.

  7. LimeWire then — the indies can negotiate terms there as much as they want and it won’t make a pickle of a difference. Perhaps they’ll come to some agreement after consumers have blown their year’s budget for music (next month).

  8. They felt the terms of a contract with Aplpe were not reasonable. So they didn’t sign. It’s not Apple’s fault, it’s not the Indies’ fault. It’s just that a business deal fell through. It may turn out to be the right decision or the wrong decision, who knows yet ?

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