UK music indies accuse Apple of ‘bureaucratic failures and time-wasting in signing artists’ to iTune

“Leading independent record companies have accused Apple, the US technology group behind iTunes, of bureaucratic failures and time-wasting in signing artists such as Franz Ferdinand and Deepest Blue to its download music store,” Tim Burt reports for The Financial Times. “Groups including Domino Records, Chrysalis Music and Ministry of Sound – the label boasting this week’s number one UK single, ‘Call on Me’ – claim Apple has refused to negotiate terms for their artists in spite of an outline deal signed this summer to offer independent repertoire on iTunes Europe.”

“Apple agreed its first contracts with independent labels in July after months of wrangling over licensing terms and allegations that the US group favoured industry majors such as Universal and Warner Music. The Association of Independent Music (Aim), representing more than 800 European labels, said Apple was stalling in offering a standard template deal to artists including Moloko, Elvis Costello, Ty and The Farm,” Burt reports.

“Labels fear they could lose millions of dollars in potential royalties and licensing payments by being unavailable on the iTunes Music Store, which has sold more than 100m downloads worldwide since its launch and some 5m songs in its first eight weeks in the UK,” Burt reports. “Apple declined to comment on the allegations. But officials pointed out that several independents such as Beggars Group and Sanctuary Records had signed deals with the service. In a statement, Apple said: ‘Although music from Domino and Ministry of Sound is not currently live, we are working directly with them and hundreds of other labels to get their content live as quickly as possible.'”

Full article here.


  1. Ha Ha Ha Ha… It kills me when I see these guys act all hurt and hard done by.

    We once had to deal with a so-call “Indie” label.

    When it came to actually putting a deal together, they were just as big pricks as the major we eventually went with.

    The difference was the major acted with more professionalism and responsibility when it came to meetings, contracts, ad spends etc.

  2. If they don’t like it why don’t they just give Bill Gates a call?

    Oh yeh, it’s because iTunes is NUMBER ONE! Always has been, always will be. Unlike that pathetic lame attempt Micros**t has cobbled together which is WINDOWS ONLY!!!

  3. I wonder if these “labels” are demanding to sell their tracks for more than .99 cents or if they insist on seling albums only.

    It is good to see them “whining” to get on board. They need Apple more than Apple needs them.

  4. Kinda funny about the labels complaing about “bureaucratic failures and time-wasting” when they have deals sitting on their desks and just need to sign the f-ing things.

  5. They make it sound like Apple MUST sell their music. Apple is not a public utility that must supply you with their services.

    When iTMS first came out in the US, I didn’t see the indie labels jumping the pond to join. (which they should have)

  6. Also, why should Apple hurry up?

    1) Record labels and artists are comming to them wanting to get on iTMS as fast as possible.

    2) Apple is being investigated for unfair pricing policies, despite currency fluctuations and higher costs in the UK.

    3) The more songs Apple sells, the more they have to pay Yoko and the gang at the time they settle.

  7. If this is true then I’m with the Indies on this. They supply Apple with the encoded tracks, and the metadata, and the artwork. All Apple has to do is add the files to the database. I guess Apple does some testing too but I can’t image adding a track takes more than a few minutes. The number of minutes in a day are limited so maybe Apple doesn’t have enough staff, simply unable to meet demand again!

  8. Gandalf,

    For all we know there needs to be pre-processing of the songs so the final sold song can be processed at the time of purchase.


    each song has a unique fingerprint and that id is added to your list of approved songs which can be used on your computers.

    I have not read of how exactly Fairplay works.

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