‘Cutthroat’ Apple attempts to kill free music streaming, wants to pay for music

“Apple has hatched a killer plan against Spotify and YouTube, according to reports citing a music industry executive who said: ‘All the way up to (Apple CEO) Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,'” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“The plans are so extensive regulators in Europe and the US are asking music business execs questions about Apple and its attempts to persuade labels to withdraw their content from free music streaming services in favor of charging a fee,” Evans writes. “Spotify would be particularly impacted by such proposals — just 15 million of its 60 million listeners pay a fee.”

“Apple’s attempt to limit free music streaming comes as major labels wake up to the existential threat to their industry these services represent,” Evans writes. “Some claim Spotify pays artists as little as $0.00029 per play. If that’s true then an act whose music gets streamed a million times won’t make enough cash in a year to pay the front man’s rent – let along to put enough gas in the engine to hire a long wheel-base tour bus… Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke took his music off Spotify in protest at this exploitation in 2013, Tweeting, ‘Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will not get paid.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wouldn’t want to be a new talent in the music business today. “Born too late” they must mutter to themselves multiple times per day. Mainstream music has been commoditized and devalued and is generally awful as a result.

There is enough “free” (illegal) music on the Internet already. It makes absolutely no sense for the music industry to continue heaping free music onto the pile via Spotify’s and other unprofitable, unsustainable “freemium” schemes.


  1. I wonder how much the artists when their material is played on traditional radio?

    I am not sure that the choice to eliminate all ad-supported access to music is a good move. The elimination of choice seems monopolistic, unless it is driven by natural business factors (not the demands of or pressure from the most powerful companies) The artists should be paid at least as well as in radio. If the internet-streamed version cannot survive while paying the artist’s well, then they indeed need to fail – naturally.

    This action by Apple, if true, is the kind that invites anti-trust investigation. I just hope, if this happens, the courts are smarter this time, and that they consider not only the consumer, but also the artists – if the streaming music companies are subsidized by cutting out the artist’s rightful payment for their work, this needs to be taken into account, and not simply see another knee-jerk reaction by the court, supposedly on behalf to the consumer, but really on behalf of Amazon.

    1. They may not, actually- royalties for traditional broadcast are paid to the songwriter and the publisher because the play is considered a public performance. The hope is that radio play will drive album, merch, and concert ticket sales.

    2. In other words, the performer on the recording gets nothing when radio plays their CD. The only one that gets paid is the person who wrote the music / lyrics.

      Singer/songwriters are in a better position; they at least get some cash from radio play.

    3. The REAL question is why the fees for internet radio play are any different than OTA radio play.

      “…radio stations are not required to pay record companies for song use, as the theory goes that airplay increases sales. However, that has not extended to digital plays — record labels have sought funds from digital sources since 1995, and those rates are set by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington.”

      This is the crux of the issue.

  2. And the U.S. DOJ is sticking its filthy nose into it now.

    Thousands of felons can destroy once great cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc., all on account of their being members of a useless though protected class of citizens, but Apple – which produces massive amounts of wealth for its investors, provides wages for the gainfully employed, and provides products that make the productive members of the human race more productive as well as providing enjoyment for same – well, they get harassed by the U.S. government.

    Somehow I get the funny feeling that if Apple had been founded and run run by a certain other, protected and coddled race of people, they wouldn’t receive any scrutiny at all from this godless administration – no matter what they did.

    We live in bizarro-world times.

    Thanks, Obama voters!

      1. What a devastating rebuttal. I never would have predicted that someone of your ilk would ignore the real world and easily verifiable facts while instead resorting to the use of magic words such as “racist.”

        How I dare I not ignore reality!

        Of all the nerve!

        Who do I think I am, anyway?

          1. That is a non sequitur.

            If you have something to say, here are the steps you should take:

            1) Use complete sentences.

            2) Be on point and on topic.

            3) Avoid fallaciousness.

            I hope you can manage this – though I am routinely aghast at the intellectual vacuity of the average Obama voter – so you probably cannot.

    1. What a load of racist garbage. Tell you what, dude, your “enemies” are not the “protected” race you talk about. It is the kind of people who were shot dead in Texas yesterday. Get your head out of the past, and smell the increasingly strong odious winds drifting in all the way from the Middle East.

      1. Tell you what, dude, my enemies emanate from more than just a single source, and identification of one enemy does not preclude there being others. (And I bet you have no idea what I just said.)

        And tell you what, dude, my head is not “in the past,” but in the real world present. Baltimore still be happenin’, and it’s just the latest chapter in a long, long line of behavior which reminds those of us not infected with the mental disease known as political correctness that certain types of people are incompatible with civilization.

          1. i.e., Former slave holders who engaged in tribe-on-tribe slavery long before whitey ever showed up. Primitive, bone-through-the-nose pagans who sacrificed children to alligators and practicing cannibalism. Cultures who engage in female genital mutilation to this day. People with zero civilizational accomplishments. Promiscuous to the point of being the AIDS capitol of the world. Being on average 25 IQ points lower than normal people. Having little-to-no impulse control. Resisting Ebola treatments and thinking that it’s a conspiracy, even attacking white aid workers. Being violently, brutally, and criminally inclined. Moving the goal posts for what they need from whitey to finally make something of themselves for the past 60 years, and still being the biggest bunch of losers despite everything while continuing the usual whine of blaming whitey, even though they choose to remain in the U.S. rather than going back to the wonderful life to be had in Mother Africa.

            If I am wrong about any of this, please advise!

            1. PERSPECTIVE!

              It is something you lack and causes your mental faculties to produce illogical conclusions.

              There are dozens of African empires just because you were never taught about them in school does not mean they did not exist, Mali, Songhay, Kush, Ethiopia, Ashanit, Yoruba and of course Egypt. These empires thrived and they were all black creations. Most of them traded around the mediterranean, Asia, India and yes Europe.

              No impulse control, you have got to be kidding me. If not slaughtering your slave master during 250 years does not give a clear example of mental and emotional control then I do not know what facts could sway your opinion.


              You and I do share a complaint with SOME of my current Black American brothers and sisters finding it all to easy to blame white people.

              But while you are complaining there are millions of black people working hard everyday paying taxes, taking care of their children working on improving themselves not blaming anybody for there success or failure.

              The media does not plaster any of that on the TV all day so unless you are there you would never now.

              Now onto your name, I take it you are Protestant based on your usage of Berean. I always find it odd how a group of people who profess to follow a man (Jesus) fail to abide by his commands.

              Luke 12:33-34

              Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

              Proverbs 22:9

              Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

              Isaiah 58:10

              If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

              Luke 3:11

              And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

              Deuteronomy 15:7-11

              “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

            2. Matthew,

              You didn’t refute any of the things I listed in my quite short list of easily verifiable facts, and only addressed, though lamely and fallaciously, a tiny subset of same.

              I am not unaware that your people are always reaching way way back into history and changing things around to make it look as if you’ve ever done anything worthwhile, but we who know better are not fooled and not afraid to call you on it. There were exactly zero great African civilizations in history – that is, civilization according to white standards. Civilization is more than just a bunch of black people huddled together in mud huts somewhere in Africa. And by the way, the “Egypt was ours” nonsense has been already easily debunked by using a thing we white people call “the sciences.” If Africans were capable of civilization then you’d have recent and present examples.

              As for impulse control, the slavery example you mentioned was an unwitting admission on your part that you can’t control yourselves, so you have to be controlled by others. In the future you should think twice before using slavery as an illustration of your self control. I’m not for slavery, of course, as it is a disgusting practice, but Africans were doing it to themselves before whitey ever showed up, as well as all sorts of other primitive and barbaric practices between warring tribes. The human suffering throughout Africa’s history is depressing.

              By the way, PBS ran a Frontline piece on the aftermath of last year’s Ebola outbreak. In that one hour you see sad example after sad example of the low IQ nature of Africans, their lack of even basic understanding, their lack of thoughtful consideration, their lack of impulse control, their violence, and their superstition. I simultaneously feel awful for these people and shocked at them. And the whole way through it was white people from the U.S. and Europe coming to the rescue, as it always is with any and every black calamity.

              As for your IQ vs. mine: You’re funny.

              As for your Bible quotes: The Bible is not a handful of cherry picked decontextualized extractions, but rather a quite lengthy assemblies of texts, each of which belong to a specific literary-biblical genre, setting, occasion, and purpose, and the only way to really negotiate the truth of Scripture is to take it at its totality, rather than to go cafeteria style like you did, selectively choosing this series and that series of verses, and then misapplying them while also excluding 99.99999999% of everything else the Bible says about this, that, or the other.

              Lastly, when I speak about people groups, I’m speaking about GROUPS. I am well aware of the positive exceptions to the norm and am thankful for them, but what you’re seeing from me and what you’re going to increasingly see for the foreseeable future is white people that have had quite enough. The backlash has commenced, and you can thank the words, actions, inactions, and policies of Barack Obama, Eric Holder’s DOJ, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Black Panthers, the MSM, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and every single rioter, arsonist, looter, hoodlum, thug, druggie, criminal, and knock-out king that has ruined and continues to ruin once great, clean, prosperous, safe American cities.

              Everyone knows about TrayTray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray, but who cares about the countless white people killed, raped, beaten, attacked, robbed, and knocked out by your “brothers and sisters”? Go read the story of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom and get back to me.

  3. Many song writers and “artists” want this. Why should their products be free to anyone with an internet connection?

    I think the time has come to pay for streaming. It has been free for over a decade and has hurt many song writers, bands, and “artists” financially.

  4. Wow, if Thom Yorke is anti-Spotify, music fans will hopefully sit up and take notice. Radiohead was very much in favor of models that essentially give the music away, releasing at least one album online with an “honor system” of optional payment.


  5. Since working bands reputedly make most of their money by touring, getting their music played by streaming music services is valuable advertising whether they are fairly paid by these services or not. What we’re hearing here about “poor exploited musicians” is definitely not the whole story.

    1. As a touring musician, tell you what, why don’t you try it out and see how you like it. All those working bands have no option but to try to make money by touring in order to scrape by, precisely BECAUSE compensation for their recordings as a source of income has all but dried up.

  6. Subscription based music streaming services are just like cable providers, they force you to pay for a vast amount of content (bundling), when you really only want a very small portion of what they are offering. I don’t have cable because I only ever watched maybe ten channels out of the hundreds I was required to pay for. Same thing applies to music.

    With movies, if I want to watch it, I’ll buy it. Same for music, if I like it, I buy it, then I have access to it whenever and wherever I want, even if I don’t have internet.

    I own over 15,000 songs and I have never listened to more than half of my library (album bundling), so why would I pay to be able to listen to every song in the world, when I know I won’t like 99% of it?

    Personally, I don’t see the point or advantage of paying a monthly fee to access every song ever recorded. I don’t like the vast majority of music. Which isn’t to say that I don’t like music, I LOVE music, a lot of different kinds, but there is so much music available digitally that NO ONE likes most music. So why would anyone want to pay for something they don’t want?

  7. “Mainstream music has been commoditized and devalued and is generally awful as a result.”

    Thank you, MDN, for pointing out the connection between music being devalued and the resulting quality of the music. It’s a blindingly obvious connection but rarely seems to get mentioned.

    Why would good musicians (not to mention brilliant ones – you know, the ones the world really should hear) put their heart and soul (not to mention massive amounts of time and money) into recording music that no-one wants to pay for?!

    It’s easy to see that teaching guitar in a school for a few days a week and playing a few local gigs is infinitely better than constantly leaving your loved ones and home comforts behind in a dubious effort to compensate for rampant theft.

    I think we’re extremely unlikely to hear new high quality music like what I listened to as a kid. e.g. Saw a band recently on TV that played their massive world-wide hit, and I couldn’t believe how incredibly bland and boring it was! No energy, no excitement, no interest, no noteworthy musicianship, no nuthin’! I’ve heard school kids do MUCH better music!

  8. All artist are farking lucky to get a person to give 5 minutes of his day to lusten to his “art”. Nevermind paying for it. If the music is good THEN you have chance to make profit via live shows etc. The song itself has no value in my eyes. my TIME is whats really valuable. The faster muscians understand this the better.

    1. The short answer: if you don’t like it, don’t steal it and don’t pay for it. SImple! No one’ll give a shit.

      The longer answer: Riiiiight… So 10 years of learning to play an instrument well, hundreds of hours of unpaid practice each year, and months of writing and recording an album mean nothing to you? And only YOUR pissy little 5 minutes is worth anything?

      Your outrageously selfish, ignorant and hypocritical opinion has no value in my eyes. Neither does whatever the hell you do for a living – you should work for nothing. The faster you grow a brain the better.

  9. “Apple’s attempt to limit free music streaming comes as major labels wake up to the existential threat to their industry these services represent,” Evans writes.

    Sorry, but that line IGNORES the past decade of debacles between the music business and ‘Internet Radio’. I’m not going to go into a lecture about that terrible time. But I am supremely ticked off that Evans is pretending this is anything new. No it damned well is NOT.

    Let’s get specific: What’s different here is the instant à la carte choice of EVERYTHING you want to hear, versus the Pandora model of picking an artist and getting that vague genre played to you. The music business pulled every dirty trick they could to KILL that model. Why music businesses put up with Spotify, I do not know. Why they put up with YouTube, I do not know.

    My experience: I think it’s great to be able to rip a whole album off YouTube WHEN I already own the old vinyl version. I also enjoy being able to hear anything I want with some level of completeness before I actually buy it, which I will if I like it. I am completely in sympathy with the music business if Spotify and YouTube enable robbery of music.

    Meanwhile, however, I completely condemn the rental of music. NO WAY to I play that game! I buy it. I own it. Nothing less is acceptable in my world. Take your rental services and, ahem, place them back from whence they came. I’m not interested.

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