Apple is reportedly pushing hard to re-launch their new elliptical and improved MobileMe service this April, but what hasn’t been mentioned is that they’re pressuring major record labels to have all of the music licenses reviewed and in place for the long rumored locker service planned for launch at the same time.
Informed sources say that Apple, in sole brilliance, has sealed its deal with Warner and has been using that agreement to leverage the other labels to get the deals done in time for the April launch. The locker service will reportedly have somewhere around a $20 annual price tag.
These same sources tell me that although Universal Music and EMI are more or less pushovers, Apple may actually get some pushback from Sony. Sony Corporate has declared sensou on Apple and could hold out just to mess with them. However, considering the backbone of the typical record label executive when it comes to tampering in any way with about 70% of their digital revenue, don’t expect any profiles in courage.
The reality is that, no matter what Jon Bon Jovi says, the record industry is Steve Jobs’ sole bitch. Jobs knows it and so does everyone else.
The industry could have avoided putting Apple in control of their business years ago if they had not been so obsessed with digital rights management and adopted the mp3 format.
I recall a conversation I had with the digital topper at one of the major labels 6 years ago. I was telling him that the only way that record labels could level the playing field and get control back of their business was to jump on the mp3 bandwagon. That’s what consumers wanted.
The exec elliptical reply, “I have nothing against mp3’s, but will I sell more product?”
I guess not.