Apple doesn’t want to merely compete, they want to own the record business

“You didn’t have to look too far to spot the action at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala on Feb. 7. Ground zero was table 108, where Apple CEO Tim Cook, senior vp Internet software and services Eddy Cue, iTunes vp Robert Kondrk and Beats co-founder and title-less Apple executive Jimmy Iovine were seated alongside former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former House speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Shirley Halperin and Ed Christman report for Billboard. “After a shout-out from the party’s host (Davis called Cook a ‘special human’), music execs lined up single file for an audience with the Apple contingent — not to mention selfies and overshares about their first Macs.”

“Cue and Kondrk happily obliged, posing with Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge and Glassnote founder Daniel Glass, and asking greeters if they already had ‘met with Jimmy.’ Goodfellas vibe aside, it was a legitimate business question, since Iovine has devoted recent weeks to meeting face-to-face with senior execs from major labels and the major indies,” Halperin and Christman report. “A nondisclosure agreement preceded every sit-down, but details are emerging about the nature of the talks, which point to a possible spring/certain summer launch of a new music service — a crucial time for the company as it struggles to adapt from downloads to streaming.”

“A source familiar with the talks says the tech giant, which reported first-quarter revenue of $74.6 billion on Jan. 27, has its sights set on more than just streaming,” Halperin and Christman report. “Apple’s presence in the music business, says the insider, “‘is to be the music business; it’s not to compete with Spotify.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Domination.


    1. “Struggle” is what the vast majority of musicians – ya know, the ones without whom there would be no music to make an industry out of – do. (Remember, only a tiny proportion of musicians are known by the public, and not because they’re no good.)

      1. You’re right, that’s a massive load of talent out there. A new generation of performer though is having to learn that touring is even more important monetarily than it used to be just waiting for record royalties to come wafting in.

        I have worked with an act here in L.A. and also setting them up at Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Friends of mine have offspring in the groups Emblem 3 & Saint Motel.

        I would hope Apple gives these groups a fairer shake than the record companies EVERE did. Record companies by design were set up to enrich the company and the Producers in any devious way possible. But of course there was little recourse in those days or options. Think of what the Beatles would have been worth if they hadn’t gotten mediocre EMI royalties and (91%!) taxed to death by their native country.

        1. Actually the Beatles UK taxed rate was more 95-98%. That’s why they set up Apple Records to have an intervening corporation to blunt the effect of the tax and allow for investment. Also why Harrison wrote “Taxman.”

          “Let me tell you how it will be
          There’s one for you, nineteen for me
          ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

          Should five per cent appear too small
          Be thankful I don’t take it all
          ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman…”

  1. Claiming that Apple wants to own and entire sector, as in monopolies it, is an attempt to shape Apple’s ethos as something unhealthy. Let’s call it like it is, a desire to do well and make money while doing it. Hardly “owning” it, not even close.

    1. agree. what i was going to say before i read your comment is that apple just wants the top 20% or so of another industry. that way it keeps growing, never is close to a monopoly, and gets great margins on its sales.

  2. What I really wish for is the ability to discover new music easily. iTunes Radio fits the bill reasonably well but the selection is still limited.
    It would be cool for Apple to try a new paradigm and provide an outlet for musicians that make their songs available online. Cut out the distributors and let the songs be discovered just like apps are.

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