WSJ: Universal Music to sign sign short term deal with Apple iTunes Store

“Highlighting ongoing tension between the music industry and Apple Inc., Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group is set to notify the Cupertino, Calif. company that it is not renewing a long term contract to sell digital music downloads through the increasingly powerful iTunes Store, according to people familiar with the situation,” Ethan Smith and Nick Wingfield report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The move does not mean, however, that Universal will remove its vast catalog… from iTunes in the foreseeable future. Instead, Universal, which is the world’s largest music company by market share, expects to go to a short-term sales agreement,” Smith and Nick Wingfield report. “Though it is unlikely to have sweeping effects immediately, the change could give Universal more flexibility in its dealings with competitors to iTunes.”

Full article (subscription required) here.


  1. iTunes competitors?! wtflip?! iTunes doesn’t have any direct competition worth mentioning unless you count illegal downloading/file sharing – and I highly doubt Universal wants them to increase their ‘market share.’

  2. Just for noogies, check out the “Drudge Report” site for its take on the above article: It’s the end of Apple! It’s the end of downloadable music! Oh my gawd! It’s Armageddon!

    NOTE TO UNIVERSAL: If you cease and desist from making your music available to customers EASILY and LEGITIMATELY, they (we) will go back to getting it even EASIER and ILLEGITIMATELY!

    What complete dumbasses.

  3. The record companies are in freefall, and they are scared as they stumble around in the business model free zone they have constructed for themselves. This is a half-assed attempt to gain bargaining power with Apple. Whatever the short term conseqences, there will be no long term consequences, as the big record companies such as Universal won’t even exist in another four years, at least not in their current bloated form. Hell, Paul McCartney is with Starbucks now. That says it all.

  4. Universal, can you say BITTORRENT? Effective immediately, we all start uploading anything Universal to BITTORRENT. Everyone join in. And when they back down from this struggle with Apple, we’ll stop.

  5. I don’t see a press release anywhere from either Apple or Vivendi. I have a feeling that this is a bogus story. It makes no sense at all. I think that this is along the same lines as the BS memo that the IPhone was delayed till October. Im not buying this.

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