Apple inks deal with big four labels: iTunes Music Store prices stay at 99-cents per song

“Apple Computer on Monday revealed it had renewed contracts with the four largest record companies to sell songs through its iTunes digital store at 99 cents each. The agreements came after months of bargaining, and were a defeat for music companies that had been pushing for a variable pricing model,” Joshua Chaffin and Kevin Allison report for The Financial Times. “The music industry’s big four – Universal, Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG – were not immediately available to comment.”

“The issue has occasionally become acrimonious, with Mr Jobs last year publicly labelling the industry ‘greedy,’ Apple and the music companies declined to comment on the current round of negotiations. However, several music executives privately acknowledge that they have little leverage over Mr Jobs,” Chaffin and Kevin Allison report. “iTunes accounts for about 80-percent of the US digital music market at a time when the record companies are desperate to show shareholders they are replacing declining compact disc sales with new internet revenues. ‘The labels need Apple too much right now,”‘ne record executive said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Game. Set. Match.

(No word, yet, on the length of the contract. More details ASAP.)

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Related articles:
EMI, Vivendi Universal music sales rise dramatically on Apple iTunes Music Store downloads – April 20, 2006
Report: music labels on verge of abandoning demand for variable pricing on Apple iTunes Music Store – April 20, 2006
Analyst: Apple in driver’s seat when it comes to renegotiating with music labels – March 31, 2006
Why music labels want to force multiple price points on Apple’s iTunes Music Store – November 21, 2005
Will Apple’s iTunes Music Store be forced to raise prices by greedy music labels? – November 17, 2005
Independent label addresses the Apple iTunes 99c question – October 05, 2005
In 99-cent fight with ‘Looney iTunes’ labels, Apple CEO Jobs will get whatever Jobs wants – September 29, 2005
Warner music exec discusses decapitation strategy for Apple iTunes Music Store – September 28, 2005
Warner CEO Bronfman: Apple iTunes Music Store’s 99-cent-per-song model unfair – September 23, 2005
Analyst: Apple has upper hand in iTunes Music Store licensing negotiations with music labels – September 23, 2005
Steve Jobs plays high-stakes poker with greedy record labels – September 22, 2005
NYT’s Pogue to record companies: it’d be idiotic to mess with Apple iTunes Music Store prices – August 31, 2005
Report: Apple CEO Steve Jobs ‘angered’ as music labels try to raise prices for downloads – February 28, 2005
Greedy Big Five music labels looking to jack up iTunes songs to $2.49 each? – April 22, 2004
FT: Steve Jobs’ position in negotiating with music labels ‘undeniably getting stronger all the time’ – April 06, 2004


  1. …now where’s that new ad campaign? I really hope the new apple store t-shirts and posters weren’t what he was talking about. I want to see some f’ing COMMERCIALS!

  2. “Mr Jobs last year publicly labelling the industry ‘greedy,'”

    Is that fair? I mean it’s not like they have a history of greed and corruption. Oh wait, the recording industry? I thought they were talking about the big four clothing labels. Oops, that’s wrong too.
    Man, it pays to have better reading comprehension.
    Did WB ever try their own iToons Store?

  3. Yeh-heh-heh-hehessssssssssss . . . what a bunch of greedy whores! It doesn’t surprise me. Besides, those Warner bastards tried to skim my profits from my Come Poop With Me! CD and I’ll poop on them til de day I die.

    But really, this is good news. I swear — these record companies are caving faster these days than Starr Jones’ chest.

  4. I’m wondering when downloads will include lyrics, insert notes, etc. That’s when we’ll see an additional cost, whereas the Music labels will only gain profit, as they make this stuff already.

  5. Dare I mention the same truth posted when this controversy first began…

    What are the labels going to do, walk away from tremendous profits?

    Apple should now remove Warner Music Groups songs off of iTunes, unless they lower their pricing.

  6. A big win for the consumer.
    It’s not illegal to “be” a monopoly in the U.S., it is only illegal to abuse that power. Not that the ITMS is a monopoly, I think it only qualifies as having a lot of clout, it’s just good to see that power being used to benefit the consumer.

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