When Apple announced at Mac World the new pricing tiers for iTunes and that all songs would be DRM free the users rejoiced. What was not so present was how Apple managed to get all this done with record labels, as it turns out, Apple was playing hard ball.
While at first this may seem like Steve is fighting for the consumer; from the outside it clearly does, he got songs the way consumers want them, DRM free. All is good right? Unfortunately the picture isn't quite as peachy.
The problem here is that labels that were once dominant are now afraid of "Apple removing a label's products from the iTunes store over a disagreement." iTunes is the largest online music store by sales and active users and to not have your product on the virtual shelves of iTunes store is disastrous.
Apple has grown to be the defacto online music store. With Apple getting all of its demands for online music distribution it seems as if they are fighting for the consumer but the consumer is losing the option of picking their place to purchase music.
Apples dominance "resulted in a particularly tense conversation on Christmas Eve between Steven P. Jobs, the chairman and chief executive of Apple, and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, the chairman of Sony Music." Sony eventually gave in to Jobs demands but only reluctantly because of fear of having their products pulled from iTunes.
At the end of the day Apple is building its iTunes store to be the only shop on the street that sells digital music. There have been many attempts to give consumers a solid choice in digital music purchasing but because of Apple's bullying, we the consumers one day may be out of choices.