“The five major record labels have been in negotiations recently with Apple over pricing and other issues associated with the year-old download service, which was launched to great fanfare last April.
All five of the deals - with Universal, Sony, BMG, EMI and Warner Music - have already been signed, sources say, and the new pricing is already being rolled out for albums.
EMI and Sony Music, which this week launched its own download service called Sony Connect, were said to be the most aggressive on pricing.
Under the terms of some of the deals, the prices for some of the most popular singles could rise to $1.25, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Songs have previously been priced at 99 cents across the board.”
“Music labels are dragging their feet in licensing their songs to Apple Computer because they fear its long-promised European music download site will dominate the online business, industry insiders say.
The five main record labels are understood to be scared that Apple, which makes the iPod digital music player, will become as successful in Europe as it has in the US, where it has 70 per cent of the legal download business. That could let it dictate which stars or records succeed or fail by deciding which to promote on its site.”
“Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded a record setting 3.3 million songs from its third generation iTunes Music Store since its launch one week ago. Highlighting the popularity of its innovative new features, iTunes users have already published more than 20,000 iMixes, and those iMixes have been rated by fellow iTunes users over 50,000 times. In addition to the 3.3 million purchased songs, iTunes users have downloaded more than 500,000 free songs from popular artists including Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Courtney Love, Annie Lennox, Jane
“Motown is emptying its archives into Apple’s iTunes Music Store to mark its 45th anniversary. The famed label is making available the first 45 singles it issued as well as 45 hard-to-find albums from such superstars as Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and Diana Ross, the Four Tops and Smokey Robinson, among many others.
According to Motown, the “vast majority” of these albums are being made available for digital download for the first time. The promotion will run through May 25 and coincides with the May 17 ABC broadcast of the “Motown 45” TV special.”
McGraw Hill Osborne is giving away three prizes of $500 iTunes Gift Certificates between now and January 15, 2005. “Three (3) separate winners will be chosen at random. The first winner will be chosen August 2nd, 2004, the second winner will be chosen October 29th, 2004 and the third and final winner will be chosen February 15th, 2005.” No purchase necessary. Only open to U.S. residents.
“But some popular albums are inexplicably higher. Buying all 14 tracks on Jessica Simpson’s “In the Skin” on iTunes cost 13.86. The physical album, including a bonus DVD with scenes from her wedding, is $13.39 from Amazon. Sheryl Crow is perhaps the artist who has most aggressively promoting legal downloading.
XtremeMac has announced they will be giving away a $100 iTunes Gift Certificate in their May Music Giveaway. Place an order with XtremeMac and you are automatically entered into the giveaway. Contest ends May 31.
“I don’t know about you but when I invest in a certain type of media I don’t expect the rules to be randomly changed on me. While Apple
Although the redemption deadline for the Pepsi/iTunes song giveaway has officially expired as of Friday, April 30, the “Redeem Song” page is still available via iTunes. For those still hanging on to winning codes redeem them quickly, before it’s too late.
“But what’s needed next is the additional layer of information that typically goes with music sold in brick-and-mortar stores: the packaging.
The new iTunes feature that lets those who buy an album print out the cover art addresses this, to a point. But what’s missing are the other bits of information about the album that typically come with CD packaging—liner notes, jacket copy, lyric sheets and so on. Jazz and classical fans in particular often enjoy reading the jacket copy.”
The Mac Observer has posted a complete transcript of yesterday’s iTunes anniversary conference call with Steve Jobs. Here he describes the new WMA to AAC conversion feature in iTunes 4.5:
SlashDot reports that in less than 24 hours someone in Australia has cracked the new authentication algorithm in iTunes 4.5. “iTunes 4.5 uses a new authentication algorithm. However, not even 24 hours after I downloaded it, and that includes a little sleep and lots of uni time, I’ve broken it. Hah. Anyhow, libopendaap 0.2.0 and tunesbrowser 0.1.4 are now available.”
“To celebrate the first anniversary
Jim Heid, author of “The Macintosh iLife” has published more tips for iTunes 4.5 on his website. Here’s one of his tips on iMix, the ability to share your own playlist in iTunes.
“Apple Computer said Wednesday that about 5 million free songs have been given away through a Pepsi promotion, far fewer than the 100 million tracks that could have been redeemed.
An Apple representative said the music giveaway was probably the biggest ever of its kind but admitted that the company gave away fewer songs than it had intended.
‘We had hoped the redemptions would have been higher,’ said Katie Cotton, Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications. Customers with winning bottle caps have until Friday to redeem their free music tracks.”
“Among other additions Apple Computer made to its iTunes software, the Mac maker has plugged a hole that allowed some people to download music from another computer.
Apple’s iTunes allows Macintosh and PC users to play music stored on other PCs on a network. The music is streamed off the other computer. But file-swapping enthusiasts quickly created other programs, such as MyTunes, to capture the songs and allow them to be saved to the computer’s hard drive. With the latest iteration
“According to a handful of very preliminary reports, it appears that new Mac OS X code, which is included as part of the iTunes 4.5 installer, cripples the vast majority of DRM-removing applications that have surfaced in recent weeks.
“I just downloaded the freebie song from iTunes, by the Foo Fighters, and when I tried to pass it through iMovie or FairTunes, I received an error message stating that my computer was not authorized to play the song,” one iTunes user said.”
“Apple Computer Inc.‘s online music store, iTunes, recorded a small profit in the current quarter, according to Chief Executive Steve Jobs (news - web sites).
ITunes is now selling 2.7 million songs a week, or a rate of 140 million songs a year. The company boasts a market share of more than 70 percent in legal online music.
The Cupertino, Calif., company will resist adding video capabilities to its iPod music player.
“It’s the music, stupid,” Jobs said, adding that listening to music can be done in combination with another activity else, while video is a “foreground” activity.”
Head to MacMinute.com for live coverage of the iTunes Music Store anniversary conference call. There is an extensive list of news briefs from the call.
Some highlights courtesy of MacMinute:
- Jobs: The iTMS had a small profit this past quarter—0-70 million in one year is a good figure.
- Jobs: Music is background activity—movies are foreground activity—music is the revolution here.
- Jobs: we have to stay focused on the fact that people are buying iPods for music.
- Jobs: (joking): next big step is we want iPod to make toast. Toying with refrigeration, too.
- Jobs: upward trend in iPod sales—Apple is the only company in world offers unbeatable combo of iPod, iTunes and iTunes Music Store.
- Jobs: subscription services not succeeding—$1 to listen to a song for the rest of your life. People want to own music, not rent it—you own it… subscriptions make you pay over and over.
- HP expects to ship 8 million copies of iTunes on their desktops this year.
- Labels never asked for iTMS downloads to play on any other device besides iPod, says Jobs.
- Price is remaining 99 cents per song
- “Gonna help us a lot in the Windows market,” says Jobs. (WMA to AAC converter)
- Jobs: “Largest online catalog in the world. “Number one online music service in the world,” so “exceeded our wildest expectations”