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Warner exec: Labels could cut off iTunes Music Store [updated]

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2005
News Categories: iTunes

Warner Music Group digital strategy chief Michael Nash said today that the major record labels could easily cut off the iTunes Music Store if Apple CEO Steve Jobs doesn’t budge in the song pricing battle.

“What if Jobs says 39 cents or 29 cents per download—what then?” Nash asked during a panel discussion at the CTIA Telecomms Show. “The industry can say, OK we’ll cut him off—very few people people buy music from digital downloads.” The music executive said Jobs will have to find another way to help sell iPods. “[Jobs] will figure out another model,” he said.

Nash also said that the music industry has let Apple get away with too much dominance in paid digital downloads. “The industry got together and said ‘We don’t want another MTV’. Well, now we’ve got another MTV, in Apple. And we have to deal with it,” he said.

Update: The Register has now corrected its story, saying that it wrongly attributed the remarks to Nash. “These remarks were made by another panelist, Kenneth Hertz, partner at Goldring Hertz and Lichtenstein LLP, a law firm representing major recording industry artists,” the site now says.

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Comments

1

Greedy, greedy, greedy. First the label wants Apple to help bail them out… now they want to cut them off. Great editorial on the subject on radiobistro.com. Gouge Potatoes is what they call the record people! Pretty funny.

Posted by Bovis on September 28, 2005 at 12:27 PM (PDT)

2

I believe the real problem is that the Music Industry is envious that somebody else is better at selling their music.  Notice how they don’t mention that they already get the majority of the money from a 99 cent song, so they’re not hurting considering iTMS has sold over 500 million songs.

Because people were, and still are, tired of buying a full CD with 10 crappy songs to get one or two good songs, iTunes has provided a service that has proven very popular with consumers.  The Music Industry just seems pissed at the fact they may actually have to provide a better product creatively if they are to sell complete albums.

I for one will be the first to go back to filesharing to get songs if they decide to cut off iTunes from their music.

Posted by Number 5 on September 28, 2005 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

3

I say we ban Warner Music. So I’ll make sure I do not buy from a Warner Label on iTunes, nor on CD. If they want to be greedy capitalists, then they will not recieve my business.

Posted by fjltech on September 28, 2005 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

4

Did I read that right? “very few people people buy music from digital downloads”? What are they, on CRACK?

500 millions is “not enough people??”

Good GOD! These record execs need to get their collective heads out of their own #####! If the music industry dies due to rampant piracy, they will have NO ONE ELSE to blame but THEMSELVES!

Posted by ahMEmon on September 28, 2005 at 1:01 PM (PDT)

5

Oh, and another thing; how many people own iPods around the world?  Nice Public Relations move, threaten tens of million of people with cutting off their access to LEGAL music downloads.

Public opinion is against them, and they still find more stupid things to say.

Lets stop all the lawyer jokes out there and replace them with stupid Music Exec jokes:

How do you save a Music Exec from drowning?
You don’t!!!!

When will they learn?

Posted by Number 5 on September 28, 2005 at 1:01 PM (PDT)

6

[Quote] “The music executive said Jobs will have to find another way to help sell iPods.” [/Quote]

I think he has it backwards, iPods & iTunes help SELL LEGAL MUSIC. Last I heard, iPods will play pirated music just fine. I don’t think Jobs and Apple will be the ones hurting from this..

Posted by Bob on September 28, 2005 at 1:17 PM (PDT)

7

We Mexican owners of iPods don’t EVEN have a iTMS yet (yes, that sucks). I didn’t need an iTMS to decide purchasing an iPod. I bought it in order to have my OWN ripped CD collection (more than 6000 songs and counting) in it. All of my CDs are legally purchased, in the old-fashioned way. I’d buy digital songs if I could.
I still buy physical CDs and always will if music executives stop selling us “economedia” versions of CDs (terrible sound) in order to low prices. Now I find disturbing the new “copy-controlled” disks.
And they still complain about the overwhelming piracy in Latin America? Are they blind, insane, or just brainless?
All of the above, more likely.
R.

Posted by Rolandopagano on September 28, 2005 at 1:22 PM (PDT)

8

It’s 500 million downloads, not people. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Posted by abc on September 28, 2005 at 1:23 PM (PDT)

9

“If the music industry dies due to rampant piracy, they will have NO ONE ELSE to blame but THEMSELVES!”

No, the will continue to blame teenagers who share files, and then push more copy protection schemes through congress so all our fair-use rights are completely gone.

Sad, but true.

I can’t wait until the music cartel is gone and the artists can publish themselves directly to iTunes.

Posted by m.sherman on September 28, 2005 at 1:27 PM (PDT)

10

What a #####. I’m not going back into a store to buy a cd. I’m not getting rid of my ipod, because I’ve tried the others… so, it’s either iTunes, or, well, the other less legal option. If anyone knows of any free download services that are not illegal, post them up, I’d be interested to buy music from someon not RIAA invovled.

Besides that, how can you compare this to MTV? MTV barely has music on it anymore—and they’ve whored themselves out to the windows media format a long time ago, snubbing the design community. Maybe MTV 1985, I’ll give him that.

Posted by Brady J. Frey on September 28, 2005 at 1:30 PM (PDT)

11

.99 cents per song is ok. I personaly think that it should be even cheapper, there is almost no cost per song compered for a regular store.
I personaly prefer to buy CDs, but for those single songs (CD’s with only one good music), buying on the Net is ok.
I personaly like P2P programs, we share music! (share is totaly diferent of stoling and piracy).
I think that share songs on P2P programs is the same as goning to a friends house and record a CD on a cassete tape.

I’m not a Jobs lover, but I think that his is doing the right thing trying to mantain the price of the songs. I even think that it should be cheapper.

1 album on ITunes is around 10 dolars and one album on amazon is the same price (so I prefer the CD, so I can ripp it and mantain the CD).

Posted by Billy Gun on September 28, 2005 at 1:48 PM (PDT)

12

well, I live in Mexico and rarelly buy CD’s, when iTunes Music store came It was great, now there isnt a Latin America Music Store but I have A US credit card so I have been able to buy 1164 songs up to date, I dont think of buying CD’s again, so if you cut iTunes you loose me as a customer

Posted by checo on September 28, 2005 at 1:52 PM (PDT)

13

I agree with number 5. I bought my Ipod a year ago and haven’t bought a CD cause I don’t like every song on those CD’s.

they [the music execs] don’t wanna lose money with people buying single songs instead of entire albums.

What we [the comsumer] don’t want is another Napster vs big Metal band court case, between Apple and the music execs

Posted by Alastair on September 28, 2005 at 1:55 PM (PDT)

14

I don’t think Apple is quite as smart or as altruistic in its efforts as people here think they are.

The price is gonna go up—that’s a fact of life we gotta accept.  Simply put, if the business model is gonna shift from trying to sell albums to selling singles, the price of a single is gonna have to go up.

As for the people who always threaten to go back to illegal downloading if the price goes up—I don’t think you ever stopped illegally downloading.

The fight now is not to convince people to legally buy music online, the mission for the Labels is to discover how much they will pay.  Apple’s mission has been to see how much we will pay for an iPod—I don’t see anyone complaining about that.

If the iPod had an FM tuner you wouldn’t have to buy any of the hot songs—they play on the air all day long.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on September 28, 2005 at 1:55 PM (PDT)

15

While it would be a negative to lose WBR from the iTunes store, it will hurt WBR more.  I respect Apple for standing their ground and sticking up for the consumer.  However ,it is WBR’s product and they can charge what they want.

The MTV comment is funny as I’ve actually heard it from various label execs.  Really they’re just complaining because they can’t control the entire puzzle and strong-arm consumers in to paying $30 for a CD.

No matter what, the labels will need to work with other players.  Sometimes this means that they must be fair to the consumer too. 

Soon most artists will go at it alone and bypass the labels altogether.  Trust me… they are not helping.

Posted by craigtheguru on September 28, 2005 at 2:03 PM (PDT)

16

http://www.petitiononline.com/iTp/petition.html
if you want to change this, sign this petition.  i sumbmittted this as news, hopefully it can get on the main page.

Posted by Ryan Imhof on September 28, 2005 at 2:11 PM (PDT)

17

Ryan-

That’s a silly petition.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on September 28, 2005 at 2:29 PM (PDT)

18

“As for the people who always threaten to go back to illegal downloading if the price goes up—I don’t think you ever stopped illegally downloading.”

You’re right.  Whenever I want a song, I always try to find it through illegal means first.  If, and ONLY if, I can’t get the song I want through illegal means, only then do I turn to iTMS to get the song legally.

Darn, you caught me!

Posted by Biff on September 28, 2005 at 3:02 PM (PDT)

19

i still download music illegally.

Posted by Navas on September 28, 2005 at 3:12 PM (PDT)

20

Worst…bluff…ever.

The record labels will never pull the plug on iTMS.

This is just posturing to get a better deal from Apple.

Greedy bastards.

Posted by LSC on September 28, 2005 at 3:21 PM (PDT)

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