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Apple pressures music labels to abandon Amazon MP3 Daily Deal

post #1 of 56
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A new report claims Apple has attempted to push music publishers away from participating in Amazon's MP3 Daily Deal promotion, which features timed exclusives for popular tracks.

According to an executive who spoke with Billboard, the Daily Deal has been around since mid-2008, but it was in 2009, when Amazon asked labels to provide a one-day exclusive before an album's street date in order to be featured in the promotion, that Apple became unhappy. Granting 24-hour exclusivity gave the album promotion across the Web, on various Web sites and social networking feeds.

The labels reportedly paid nothing for the promotion, but simply exchanged the temporary exclusivity for increased exposure. With the deal potentially taking customers away from Apple's own iTunes Music Store, the report said that the iPod maker decided to intervene.

"Sources say that iTunes representatives have been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Amazon promotion and that they have backed up those warnings by withdrawing marketing support for certain releases featured as Daily Deals," the report said.

Apple's alleged approach has apparently worked: Major labels decided not to include high-profile releases such as "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum and "Animal" by Ke$ha in Amazon's Daily Deal.

The first participant in the Amazon promotion, which started Apple's displeasure, was reportedly Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," which sold for $5.99 a day before its Sept. 29 street date last year.

Amazon, however, has not been idle as Apple has allegedly become more aggressive with publishers. Bloomberg reported that Amazon has been "fine-tuning its Daily Deal pitch" for new titles, "agreeing, for instance, to forgo the one-day exclusive window on certain ones." Apple, however, allegedly remains upset with the Daily Deal promotion.

A week ago, Apple's iTunes sold its 10 billionth song, achieving the milestone nearly seven years after the online download destination was introduced. Recent figures have found iTunes to represent a quarter of all U.S. music sales, making the service the largest single music retailer in the nation. Digital downloads make up an estimated 35 percent of total music sales, and iTunes accounts for 69 percent of those.

Apple, in the past, has had heated negotiations with music labels over content on iTunes. In early 2009, Apple convinced record labels to remove digital rights management from its music downloads, but in the process it conceded price flexibility. Starting last April, some popular tracks saw a 30 percent increase in price, from 99 cents to $1.29.

As prices were increased in the midst of a recession, annual growth of digital music sales has slowed, but remains a net positive for the major labels. However, one label executive recently conceded that a 30 percent price increase during an economic slump was not the best move.
post #2 of 56
So let me get this straight. Apple wants me to pay more for e-books, and not get any daily deals on music from Amazon? Careful Apple, eventually it might set in you're trying to screw me.
post #3 of 56
Very interesting. For now its Amazon and Apple bullying the music industry, but what if the industry pits them against each other and starts bullying them. Saying things like whoever offers the best deal (takes the least in terms of revenues) will get exclusive content AND an early release. This will start a race to the bottom and will hurt both. Thus increasing prices for us (cause the price of tunes is not gonna go down obviously).

I'm not saying Apple shouldn't be mad, but they should make deals with Amazon not trying to pressure the music industry into compliance, cause as I said it could turn out bad.
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post #4 of 56
Is this thinking BIG as in being the new bully on the block?
1.) Flash
2.) eBooks
3.) Music

and Apple wonders why Hollywood wants no part of their cloud?
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gFiz View Post

So let me get this straight. Apple wants me to pay more for e-books, and not get any daily deals on music from Amazon? Careful Apple, eventually it might set in you're trying to screw me.

I agree entirely. Apple is becoming just like every other large corporation. Climbing in bed with AT&T tells me they are also becoming more political too. (Who knows what lobbyists Apple is hiring these days?) Having been an Apple user for twenty-six years I am keeping my eye out for the new players in tech. I am sure the Apple shills will jump in here shortly and try to convince us that increased prices are a good thing...remember when the record industry transitioned to CDs and how they told us the prices would go down? Apple is effective increasing all the pricing and becoming one of the oligopoly players in the scheme of things.
post #6 of 56

Apparently Apple is the new Microsoft.
post #7 of 56
Quote:
However, one label executive recently conceded that a 30 percent price increase during an economic slump was not the best move.

Not only that, deviating from the one set price for all songs just tells people a song is good or bad.

People will naturally try to save money and buy all the good songs, knowing it's going to cost them 30¢ more and avoid the 99¢ songs.

Before when all the songs were 99¢, people would judge each song and decide, tending to add more songs from a artist they like before moving to another one.

Now it's easy, just go to each artist you like and only download the $1.29 songs.



I have over 8000 songs in my library, about 3,500 of them are hit songs, about 2000 are good songs, but not hits, and about 2500 I still haven't rated yet.

Now if I had a clue ahead of time, I would have likely only bought the 3,500 songs at $1.29 each for $4515.

Instead I bought all my songs for 99¢ each and spent about $8000.

No wonder the music industry is losing money. They are fools.
post #8 of 56
I love you Apple - but you are showing signs of using your market power in ways not really helping you.

Sometimes you should let other have their ways and instead let your own quality show the way. You can't have 100% of the market anyway. In this case I think Amazon had a good idea. Apple may feel soar, but don't bully your important source - the music industry. They won't like it in the long run!
post #9 of 56
Is this any surprise? Apparently people actually think Apple and Steve Jobs are their friends. Steve Jobs is loyal to Mrs. Jobs, his kids, the shareholders, his dog, and pet turtle, and not necessarily in that order. Grow up and see Apple for what they are. Just another corporation that happens to make pretty good products.
post #10 of 56
Quit being a big baby Apple. One day isn't going to kill iTunes. Get over it. Is Chairman Mao that upset someone took his candy?
post #11 of 56
"Sources say that iTunes representatives have been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Amazon promotion and that they have backed up those warnings by withdrawing marketing support for certain releases featured as Daily Deals," the report said.

Really? I am both not surprised by this (bc that is what business is about) and I am surprised by this (bc it doesn't sound like traditional Apple). Now I am starting to wonder.

I love the fact that Apple has consistently (and successfully) redefined how business is done in certain markets. But Apple needs to stay focused on the ball and the ball is not becoming 'all world Apple'. Unfortunately companies that have experienced large scale success often cannot resist the temptation of trying to be all things to all people. Moreover, they begin leveraging their power and influence to benefit themselves under the guise of helping the people - which is what Apple is starting to sound like to me. Obviously, they are a profit seeking, publicly traded company - I get that. But I would be greatly disappointed if their business practices began to follow the paths of the traditional mega corporation.

Maybe it is too late...?
post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Not only that, deviating from the one set price for all songs just tells people a song is good or bad.

People will naturally try to save money and buy all the good songs, blah, blah, blah

Do you have this post saved some where so you can post it every time AI regurgitates that record executive quote?

If you're so much of a mindless sheep that you think only the $1.29 songs are good, then you deserve all the crappy songs you own. Or maybe you just have lousy taste in music.
post #13 of 56
Nice personal attack there caliminius. Bye now.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Do you have this post saved some where so you can post it every time AI regurgitates that record executive quote?

If you're so much of a mindless sheep that you think only the $1.29 songs are good, then you deserve all the crappy songs you own. Or maybe you just have lousy taste in music.

Yeah, price doesn't always correlate so well with quality. However, I bet all twelve of the $0.69 tracks on iTunes aren't worth the asking price.

The wrangling over three dimes seems a bit much. For most people, I think that $1.29 is going to net hours of play over a lifetime, three dimes seems pretty insignificant compared to that.

But if the music execs think it's a mistake, I imagine that they still have the opportunity to roll them back.
post #15 of 56
Are people that impulsive that they simply have to buy their media the moment it becomes available? (This also applies to movie and TV shows.) I don't agree with Apple trying to manipulate the market, if that's indeed what's going on here*, but this teapot tempest also says something about the buying public who fuels this sort of behavior.

* Remember all the outrage when it was initially reported that Apple would be charging $10k to anyone who wanted to produce their album in iTunes LP format? Much ado about nothing.
post #16 of 56
It sounds petty, but we don't know if it's actually true. Rumors can be manufactured, we don't know who these unnamed people are or how well these sites vet their sources.
post #17 of 56
Justice Department meet Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs meet the Justice Department.
post #18 of 56
the rumors must be false. apple is a better company than this that cares about it's customers. i know, i have an iphone.

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post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It sounds petty, but we don't know if it's actually true. Rumors can be manufactured, we don't know who these unnamed people are or how well these sites vet their sources.

Yeah exactly, who are these folks, how do you know it isn't Amazon itself twisting a half truth in response to it's loss of leverage on the publisher deals going on with Apple's iBook store on the upcoming iPad?

:deep breath:
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

Justice Department meet Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs meet the Justice Department.

Doesn't apply here, at all
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post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Very interesting. For now its Amazon and Apple bullying the music industry, but what if the industry pits them against each other and starts bullying them.

I guess I'm missing where Amazon is pressuring the music industry. It sounds like Amazon offered the studios a great promotional opportunity and they jumped at it. Not to mention, they've been unhappy with iTunes' lock on the download market. From the article:

"Granting 24-hour exclusivity gave the album promotion across the Web, on various Web sites and social networking feeds."

That is pretty much free press for the studios. Amazon's mp3 deal of the day shows up on quite a few deal sites. It's a double whammy for Apple since not only can you get it a day earlier, you get it cheaper than Apple's price (and since it is a day earlier if you happen to have it pre-ordered from iTunes you still have time to cancel your order).

Personally, I think the studios should tell Apple to F___ off. At the end of the day, if Apple does nothing to promote big new releases it's Apple that gets hurt not the studios. People will just go elsewhere to buy the music. And if it's a major release, it's going to end up in Apple's list of top selling albums and tracks so it's not like Apple can really bury it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Nice personal attack there caliminius. Bye now.

I do what I can. Baaahye.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Now it's easy, just go to each artist you like and only download the $1.29 songs.

This is EXACTLY what the music industry wants you to do. Buy something based on the thought process that higher price = better music.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Now if I had a clue ahead of time, I would have likely only bought the 3,500 songs at $1.29 each for $4515.
Instead I bought all my songs for 99¢ each and spent about $8000.

So you didn't want those 4500 other songs (8000-3500) yet purchased them anyway?
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobility View Post

Doesn't apply here, at all

Thanks for your brilliant analysis on all applicable anti-trust issues. John Sherman would be proud.

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post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Having been an Apple user for twenty-six years I am keeping my eye out for the new players in tech.

The thing is, with 40B in cash, there won't be "new players in tech" that effectively compete with åpple. They will be swallowed whole.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

The thing is, with 40B in cash, there won't be "new players in tech" that effectively compete with åpple. They will be swallowed whole.

that's what people said about microsoft 10 years ago
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

The thing is, with 40B in cash, there won't be new players in tech that effectively compete with åpple. They will be swallowed whole.

That isn't true. Throughout history, not just with the recent tech industry, we've seen the powerful topple and the weak rise up.

HTC has a higher valuation and makes more profit than Apple did when Jobs came back to the helm. We've seen Firefox spearhead a change in the browser market which has forced MS to support open standards more readily and it's likely that within a couple years IE will account for less than 50% of the browser market despite being on 95% of the world's PCs.

If you have an idea then push for it. It may be stupid, you may be crazy, but nothing is worse than apathy or a fear of failing. As Einstein said, the difference between insanity and genius is your level of success.

Plus, maybe you'll get lucky and have Google buy you for way too much money after only a few months.
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post #27 of 56
[CENTER]Suggestion:

Instead of all this 'pressuring' this company or that industry, simply make offerings so compelling in both features and price that you don't have to constantly resort to 'Bully Tactics' when the threat of competition looms near.



[/CENTER]
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post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Is this any surprise? Apparently people actually think Apple and Steve Jobs are their friends. Steve Jobs is loyal to his kids, etc

Lisa, anyone?

(too low a blow?)
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhnaten View Post


Apparently Apple is the new Microsoft.

yes apple sure does seem to be engaging in a lot of pettiness lately. i voted with my credit card and started buying my music from amzn.
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcatdaddy View Post

yes apple sure does seem to be engaging in a lot of pettiness lately. i voted with my credit card and started buying my music from amzn.

That is like shaving before weighing yourself if you are still using a Mac and/or iDevice to listen to them.
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post #31 of 56
What the hell has happened to Apple lately?! They seem to be determined to be the biggest jerks in the whole industry all of a sudden. Far from being the cool to be different underdogs, they're behaving as badly as Microsoft ever did.

I'm seriously considering ditching my iPhone and getting a Nexus One.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

The thing is, with 40B in cash, there won't be "new players in tech" that effectively compete with åpple. They will be swallowed whole.

That has not been the case with Apple. They have bought a few small companies and actually used their tech (NeXT, SoundJam, CoverFlow, PA Semi) but they don't simply buy companies to keep them from making a product/technology.
That is something another large tech company does.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

What the hell has happened to Apple lately?! They seem to be determined to be the biggest jerks in the whole industry all of a sudden. Far from being the cool to be different underdogs, they're behaving as badly as Microsoft ever did.

I'm seriously considering ditching my iPhone and getting a Nexus One.

Go for it, one should get the product that suits their needs best. As for being the underdog, I suppose we could consider them as such when they entered the "well established and entrenched" handset market with apparently no hope at all, but they've been one of the largest most successful companies for so long that calling them an underdog isn't apt.
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post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gFiz View Post

So let me get this straight. Apple wants me to pay more for e-books, and not get any daily deals on music from Amazon? Careful Apple, eventually it might set in you're trying to screw me.

The publishers set the prices, troll.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcatdaddy View Post

yes apple sure does seem to be engaging in a lot of pettiness lately. i voted with my credit card and started buying my music from amzn.

It's pure common sense to go for the lower price if the end product is the same regardless of the software it came from. Using Apple product doesn't mean you need to get music or anything else from them. But I can see how some would stick to the Apple brand all the way to their iCoffin.

I like iPhoto, but Apple was gonna charge me an arm and a leg to print a photo book, so I went to Kodak.com instead. Just shop around, simple.
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post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

The publishers set the prices, troll.

Yep, soon they will...thanks to Apple. Thanks for supporting my point, and for the comical use of troll
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It sounds petty, but we don't know if it's actually true. Rumors can be manufactured, we don't know who these unnamed people are or how well these sites vet their sources.

Even if it is true, it does not really sound petty to me. If the record industry is giving Amazon promotional deals they are not offering to other resellers, then they do manipulate the market to some degree. In every other industry bigger resellers do get better offers (or at least identical ones). Apple is the number one music reseller and is forced to overcharge its customers, because they can't match pricing or get products later? This has nothing to do with Apple being like MS, they have every right to be annoyed about this kind of treatment. Where exactly would the music industry be today without iTunes saving their behinds?

Still, if this story is indeed true, then maybe an open letter by Jobs to the iTunes customers, advising them of them being discriminated by the RI, would have made them look better...
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gFiz View Post

Yep, soon they will...thanks to Apple. Thanks for supporting my point, and for the comical use of troll

Your lack of understanding is comical.
post #39 of 56
Same thing "large box" stores to to manufacturers, best buy, sears, wal-mart, they all pressure suppliers into prices and giving them 'special' pricing, Apple isn't even doing that actually. Hell wal-mart forces suppliers to change their packaging to match wal-marts needs and shelf spacing / planning, it's a simple fact of doing business, you want the big boys to sell your item you make concessions. In business school there was a white paper on wal-mart forcing Johnson and Johnson into totally changing their packaging, it cost a couple million dollars for J&J to change their packaging and printing (on said packages) just to keep selling their product in Wal-mart. just how it goes.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Even if it is true, it does not really sound petty to me. If the record industry is giving Amazon promotional deals they are not offering to other resellers, then they do manipulate the market to some degree. In every other industry bigger resellers do get better offers (or at least identical ones). Apple is the number one music reseller and is forced to overcharge its customers, because they can't match pricing or get products later? This has nothing to do with Apple being like MS, they have every right to be annoyed about this kind of treatment. Where exactly would the music industry be today without iTunes saving their behinds?

We don't know if Apple couldn't get the same deal.
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