Universal refuses to renew music deal with Apple

Steven P. Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple, is an emerging force in the mobile phone business, thanks to the snaking lines of gadget fans who queued up last week to buy the iPhone. But now he faces a headache in an industry Apple already dominates — digital music.

The Universal Music Group of Vivendi, the world's biggest music corporation, last week notified Apple that it will not renew its annual contract to sell music through iTunes, according to executives briefed on the issue who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.

Instead, Universal said that it would market music to Apple at will, a move that could allow Universal to remove its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides do not agree on pricing or other terms in the future, these executives said.

Universal's roster of artists includes stars like U2, Akon and Amy Winehouse.

News source: NY Times
Link: Discuss on Back Page News Thanks Bear

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I thought when apple originally launched iTunes it didn't even really make a profit. I wonder what ever happened with that story. Either way it's pretty interesting. Who needs it more?

What do you mean poor Apple; I seriously hope they don't give in to Universals demands to raise prices. The only thing that will happen is Universal will suffer, as Apple makes almost no money on the songs anyhow.

Definitely. While companies fight to overprice the songs, pirated music will be on the rise again. It's not like itunes music is cheap, so I find it outrageous that this companies want to charge even more than they do now

I don't have a problem with paying 1 doller for a song.... in aus it's 1.60 which is bullcrap... but anyways..... if they don't provide the music I want... I gota get it from somewhere.... and I don't buy CDs anymore....

See, this is what I like to call "Ironical".... in a move that Apple thought was a sure thing, they debut a product that is revolutionary in design, etc etc... only to have the majority supplier of their music dump them shortly after.... U know, Universal probably realized that they were selling their music at a bargain.. now that its going to be immensely more popular, they're gonna jack up their royalty rights, and everyone who got an iphone is gonna be royally screwed... good thing i didnt buy into the hype...

lol.. Universal? The majority supplier? Please.. there are other labels. The only ones that will suffer are universal and the consumer. Universal can't stand that more money goes into the pockets of the actual artists on iTunes than the music companies. So who do they punish? They punish the consumer and iTunes. iTunes doesn't even make a profit based on only music sales.

Quote - [bear
said,#8.1]lol.. Universal? The majority supplier? Please.. there are other labels. The only ones that will suffer are universal and the consumer. Universal can't stand that more money goes into the pockets of the actual artists on iTunes than the music companies. So who do they punish? They punish the consumer and iTunes. iTunes doesn't even make a profit based on only music sales.

You act like these labels compete against each other? No, they compete against you, the consumer to extract every last dollar they can from you (and if you refuse, then you are automatically a pirate - how dare you not spend as much this year on music as you did last year). They work together to fix their prices and if one label does something, you know the others aren't far behind. It's called a "cartel" and the federal government just looks the other way because it's just "silly music".

Its like Music labels want to go out of business.

If they, and film companies, refuse to give me options of legally purchasing their content then I will use other methods to obtain / watch them.

For example they want to stop people ripping a DVD to watch on their ipod / psp etc... Why, no good reason, just pure $$$. No respect, no customer loyalty, no SALE!

Not everyone want to watch a film on a DVD / Blur Ray, or listen to music from a CD. Why dont they get that? Why cant I in the UK purchase films from iTunes (or similar) instead having to rip dvd's or using bittorrent.

I think its because the labels want > 0.99 / track. Since album sales are being cannibalized at retail and on-line (and I'm sure retailers have treatened to pull deals with labels) they're stuck. I don't want to pay more than $15.99 for an album. I'd like videos or interviews as bonus material on the CDs more often.

Bono must be upset. I believe he will call on all world leaders at the next G8 and tell them all to make laws to make this practice stop. He must continue to be rich so he can tell us how to live our lives.


The recording industry is just owned by greedy idiots. Apple have stated on a number of occasions they don't even make money from selling music on iTunes - its simply a vehicle for people who own iPods to buy music electronically, legally..

To be honest I don't know why we're surprised by their continual greed.. its like every passing month yields yet another eye wateringly bad decision from the dinosaurs in charge of the recording companies. I guess eventually they will destroy the business through their complete ignorance of technology and consumer demand.

bangbang023 said,
Apple makes money on the songs. It may only be around 20 cents, but they make something.
According to http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/04...le_implies.html its about 10 cents.

This is where other companies have an issue - Apple can undercut them all and subsidise the iTunes Store from the sales of iPods, "pure" music store companies like Napster don't have this luxury - they're already operating at a loss.

Would UMG's subsidiary labels be free to create their own iTunes contracts with Apple? Just because Universal doesn't want to contract out for online distribution globally across all of their subsidiaries does not necessarily mean Geffen or Interscope, etc... would be barred from entering into their own contracts. I guess UMG has copyright ownership in some regard, but I'm a little ignorant to the workings of child/parent label relationships. I like some of the UMG artists so I hope I can continue to buy their music in the future. The CD is dead to me so they better get with the program or UMG won't represent any new music in my collection.

woot... the music industry just shot itself again
music industry is one of the most ridiculous and annoying industries out there xD

Glassed Silver:mac

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