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Apple pressuring labels to drop Amazon MP3’s Daily Deal

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
News Categories: Apple, iTunes

Apple has recently been pressuring the major music labels to stop participating in the Amazon MP3 Daily Deal promotions, according to a Billboard report. Citing multiple anonymous label executives, the report claims that Amazon originally launched the promotions as a way to drive traffic to the store, but more recently began asking for one-day exclusives prior to the featured albums’ release dates and digital marketing support from the labels in exchange for featuring the albums as Daily Deals. “When that happened,” the executive said, “iTunes said, ‘Enough of that [crap].’ ” According to the report, Apple has since been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Daily Deal, even going so far as to withdraw market support for certain releases featured in Amazon’s promotion. In response, Amazon has reportedly been fine-tuning the promotion, agreeing to forgo the one-day exclusive window on new releases, but Apple and iTunes have continued to voice displeasure over other aspects of the promotion, including label-provided marketing support.

As a result of the tension between iTunes and Amazon, most labels are now said to be hesitant to allow new releases to be part of the Daily Deals promotion; one major label head of sales said it is now sometimes sensible to partner with Amazon on releases that might not receive the same marketing support on the iTunes Store. “The whole issue is a kind of interesting dynamic,” a senior major-label distribution executive said. “Amazon is fighting a guerrilla war against iTunes, and now iTunes is getting frustrated because they work hard to set up and promote a release weeks in advance of the street date, and then lo and behold, Amazon jumps in there with this deal of the day and scrapes off some of the cream.”

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Comments

1

Gods forbid that a label and a music retailer could drum up some extra release date sales for an artist via $4 digital downloads for a day or two. Oh, the horror, thank goodness that Steve Jobs and his goons are their to protect consumers from a better price.

Apple, as has happened more and more in the recent past, has shown that all their protests about Microsoft’s practices in the 90s were just so many crocodile tears. Give them an analogous leverage in a market and they behave every bit as anti-everyone and anti-everything in the known universe other than Apple with equally disgusting strong arming and bullying.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on March 3, 2010 at 3:56 PM (PDT)

2

Steve Jobs has become the worst kind of corporate bully.  He is putting Rupert Murdoch to shame.  I have really enjoyed each iteration of the iPod but Apple’s lawsuit against HTC (to damage Google of course) and now this are the last straws.  Here is one technophile that will never, ever buy another Apple product including any media on iTunes.

Posted by tndefender on March 3, 2010 at 7:43 PM (PDT)

3

let’s be fair…how long was amazon allowed to sell DRM free music before record companies let Apple?

Posted by steveyQ on March 4, 2010 at 11:25 AM (PDT)

4

Yes, let’s be fair. Apple held the vast majority of paid downloads that were locked to the Apple platform via DRM that backfired - it hadn’t stopped unpaid, unauthorized music sharing in any way, but it had created a very lucrative market to which Apple held all the keys. The music industry for very obvious reasons, could not let that stand, so they approached Amazon, Apple, etc. and offered to let them sell music DRM free. Amazon (and others) were simply allowed to do so at their current prices in hopes of creating viable competition to the iTunes strangle hold. Apple, however, was required to be more flexible on their pricing according to the labels’ wishes. Apple refused and only some labels permitted them to sell their music DRM free, the so-called “iTunes plus” era. Amazon and others carved themselves out a small niche during this time and so Apple eventually caved to label pressure to raise prices on most popular singles and, in return, was permitted to sell 100% of their music DRM free, once Apple had bowed to industry pressure, Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc. were forced to acquiesce on higher singles pricing as well. So, let’s not pretend the labels gave Amazon any special permission - Apple could have been DRM free the same length of time if they’d agreed to the labels’ conditions, let’s also not forget that Apple continued to abuse their ability to keep music tied to them via DRM with many smaller labels who made no such requirement of Apple. The labels didn’t do anything special for Amazon, et al, they simply wanted Apple to play along with something else they wanted to get permission.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on March 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM (PDT)

5

I go to Amazon each day to check on the daily deal. There is no such thing in the iTunes store. As loyal as I am to Apple products (mainly because they all work), I price shop music.

Put on a daily deal Apple, then I’ll drop by each day.

Posted by drakebullet on March 5, 2010 at 1:32 PM (PDT)

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