“The largest share of last year’s $1.1 billion (euro900 million) in digital music sales — which increased threefold from 2004 as CD sales declined — came from online stores in general, and iTunes in particular,” Laurence Frost reports for The Associated Press. “Once hailed as the industry’s savior, Apple Computer Inc.’s market-leading download site is seen as part of the problem. ‘I’m hearing that the artists aren’t happy, the publishers aren’t happy. Someone other than Apple needs to be happy for this industry to grow,’ said Amit Shafrir, president of AOL’s premium services arm. AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc., is launching a music site allowing Internet users to download all the tracks they want for a monthly fee. But subscription-based services accounted for just 8 percent of digital music sales last year.”
“Apple’s one-size-fits-all pricing — 99 U.S. cents per song in the United States — has set the industry benchmark far too low for the comfort of record companies, which have tried and failed to break the iTunes stranglehold,” Frost reports. “Music majors are pushing for variable pricing on iTunes, allowing them to charge more for sought-after new hits than for older tracks. But Apple boss Steve Jobs has dismissed their pleas, saying in September that the record companies were ‘getting a little greedy.’ Senior music executives credit Apple for halting the growth in global piracy — but often through gritted teeth. ‘For the time being we all must work with Apple and make the most of iTunes,’ said Eric Nicoli, chairman of EMI Group PLC, the world’s No. 3 record company. ‘Single pricing is almost unique to the music industry,’ Nicoli added. ‘If you look at any other consumer category — including things like iPods — they sell at different prices.'”
Full article here.
Let’s see, according to another nondescript, failed-subscrption-model, future-Chapter-11-filer, and would-be Apple iTunes Music Store competitor, “Someone other than Apple needs to be happy for this industry to grow” and “the artists aren’t happy, the publishers aren’t happy.” Forgive us, please, if we don’t buy those lines, Dial-up Boy. AOL Keyword: “Bullshit.” Don’t bother sending us another fifty coasters in the mail before you go under, m’kay?
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Dvorak: record companies’ biggest concern about Apple’s iTunes is clear and accountable bookkeeping – September 29, 2005
Shakeout looms for bevy of Apple iTunes Music Store also-rans – January 23, 2006
EMI Music Chairman: Music subscription services like Napster and Rhapsody haven’t beeen huge – January 23, 2006
Report: Napster executives do the math, consider selling or shutting down, layoffs imminent – January 16, 2006
Do the math: Napster posts $13.6 million second-quarter loss – November 02, 2005
Apple’s roadkill whine in unison: ‘incompatibility is slowing growth of digital music’ – August 12, 2005
Napster: the only thing missing is the sock puppet – August 04, 2005
Napster, other Windows Media-based music services ‘chasing a niche opportunity’ – June 29, 2005
Napster To Go Soon? Reports $24.3 million net loss on $17.4 million net revenue – May 11, 2005
Napster is a joke – April 05, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004