Sony and Warner holding out on Apple iTunes Music Store Australia

“Good news for Aussies with a jones for all things Apple–they may soon be able to buy songs from the company’s popular iTunes music store. The bad news–like consumers in Japan, they may find their choices limited, as the computer maker continues to haggle with record labels over the best way to sell digital music,” Peter Kafka reports for Forbes. “Apple is working to expand iTunes and plans to open up an Australian version of its iTunes online music store Oct. 3, according to people familiar with the negotiations. But how much music the store will have for sale is an open question. Of the world’s four major music labels, only two–EMI Group and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group–have agreements to sell their music on the site so far. Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music, a joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann, have yet to sign on with Apple, which has been rumored since last spring to have plans to launch the site.”

Kafka reports, “Those two companies are also the holdouts at Apple’s iTunes Japan site, which opened for business last month. A Warner Music executive said the company was close to signing on with Apple for the Australian launch, but couldn’t predict when a deal would get done. Industry speculation, though, is that Sony BMG will be harder to convince.”

Full article here.
These holdouts had better watch it. It’s not a good idea to piss off someone who could hold the keys to your future.

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  1. Useless power plays. They make a ton of money from the iTunes stores, by holding-out, they make nothing. iTunes is selling 1.5 million songs a day. Where did these people go to business school, Bob’s Business School and Deli?

  2. It’s time that anyone who owns a Mac or an iPod to boycott any product of Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music. ANY product produced by the parent companies. It’s the least we can do for our Australian brothers and sisters.

  3. The sad thing about boycotting is that you will be hurting the artists as well. Hopefully because of this the artists that are signed with these labels with start applying pressure as well. If Sony and Warner start losing artists because those artists can’t sell their music on iTMS, then something may be done about it.

  4. A slimmed down iTunes is better than nothing. If Warner is on board then the pressure on Sony will intensify.

    Of course there is a way for all parties to be happy. If Apple was to agree to a higher pricing based on a higher bit rate then consumers would accept it, the record would get higher returns, and Apple and the credit companies would benefit as well.

    As for the October 3 date when I see it then I’ll believe it. We’ve been screwed over this non-event before, er three times to be exact.

  5. Hey MDN, we need to email these to individuals
    “Adam Klein, EMI’s executive vice president of strategy and business development,”


    “Everything priced the same was a great thing to do in the beginning of the market. Now it’s a good time to move into a tiered market,” said Thomas Hesse, president of global business for Sony BMG Music Entertainment”

    and POLITELY explain the concept if KISS or Keep It Simple Stupid pricing where the bulk of all tracks sold are priced at .99c since they obviously don’t GET IT yet. We could also tell them that .99c pricing works well for a reason. Duh!

  6. Sony, like all giant companies, has multiple personality disorder. Believe you me, there’s nothing the Sony music division would better than to hook up with iTunes and sell sell sell! But Sony’s hardware division keeps getting in their way, worried that it will be harder to sell Walkmans if the music is available from Apple.

    The reverse happens, too. Sony’s hardware development has previously been hamstrung by Sony Entertainment’s paranoia about piracy.

  7. Apple have nothing to lose by saying to the labels that they’ll launch on a given date and those who want to be on-board can get on-board, those who decline can watch from the sidelines.

    Sony have learnt nothing in the last few weeks. They tried to spoil the Japanese iTMS party and just a few days later came running asking to play. It’s quite incredible that they should try and do the same thing in Australia.

    Sony should be told that they have fourteen days to sign up to iTMS Oz or else there will be no discussion for at least six months.

    Apple should make no secret of the fact that Sony & Warner were given the opportunity to join, but decided not to. Their artists will not be at all pleased to find themselves excluded from the biggest on-line music store.

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