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Sony hints it could pull its music from iTunes in ongoing war with Apple

post #1 of 158
Thread Starter 
After Apple rejected a Sony e-reader application for the iPad from its App Store for not complying with the rules, Sony has fired back and suggested it is hoping to be able to exit Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Michal Ephraim, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, spoke with Australia's The Age about the impending launch of its Music Unlimited service in that country. Music Unlimited debuted in late 2010, and Sony hopes the streaming subscription product will take on Apple's iTunes by offering a different approach to digital music sales.

But in the future, Ephraim hopes that iTunes isn't even part of the equation. He questioned whether Sony would need to partner with Apple and sell music through iTunes if its new service gains enough traction.

"If we do [get mass take-up], then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?" he said. "Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now."

He continued: "Publishers are being held ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold."

Tensions have grown between Sony and Apple since earlier this month, Apple rejected an e-bookstore application from Sony from its digital App Store for the iPad. A story in The New York Times suggested the rejection showed that Apple is "further tightening control of its App Store."

But Apple responded to that report and insisted that it has not changed its developer terms or guidelines. "We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that same option is available to customers within the app with in-app purchase."

The head of Sony's games unit in Australia also revealed this week that it is "unlikely" that the company will make its games available for Apple's iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad. Last month, Sony revealed that it will bring a PlayStation Suite game store to Google's Android mobile operating system, allowing its titles to be played on a variety of portable devices in addition to its own gaming hardware.
post #2 of 158
Good luck with that. "Hostage"? You've sold a billion more tracks via iTunes than you would have otherwise. Pulling your songs from iTunes would be a moronic business move. I guess it is decisions like this that have been the cause of Sony's fall from grace.
post #3 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Publishers are being held ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold."

translation: we want publishers to be held ransom by Sony instead of Apple in 3 to 5 years.
post #4 of 158
I doubt there's any real connection between this statement and the e-book thing. I think it goes without saying that Sony and all other labels would pull their music from iTunes IF there were a competing distribution channel that could equal iTunes in sales while providing more favorable terms to the labels. But that's equivalent to me saying that if somebody came out with a better product than Apple at a lower price I'd buy it. Is it really worth anybody's time to say anything so obvious?
post #5 of 158
Let 'em pull it. I'll purchase it else where (amazon, walmart) and then add it to iTunes. I'll deal with the few extra mouse clicks. Sony just doesn't get it - they haven't for years.
post #6 of 158
It only takes one to start the flood. 10 years ago iTunes was it, now things are changing a bit. One leaves, some others may follow. Curious to see how this turns out.
post #7 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjsutton View Post

Let 'em pull it. I'll purchase it else where (amazon, walmart) and then add it to iTunes. I'll deal with the few extra mouse clicks. Sony just doesn't get it - they haven't for years.

That is Sony's exact point, there are other methods. You buying it somewhere else takes that $ out of Apples hands. Sony still gets paid. So I think they do get it.
post #8 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

translation: we want publishers to be held ransom by Sony instead of Apple in 3 to 5 years.

More than just that, though. The labels think that every $ in profit that Apple has made on iPods and iPhones is actually their profit that Apple has "stolen" from them. In their self-centered view of the universe, all the value-added of the iPod is their music. They don't have the least clue as to why the iPod was more successful than all the other mp3 players out there.
post #9 of 158
With few exceptions, if you're in music and you're not on iTunes, you're losing sales. Sony is blowing smoke.
post #10 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

That is Sony's exact point, there are other methods. You buying it somewhere else takes that $ out of Apples hands. Sony still gets paid. So I think they do get it.

Well... that's exactly what Sony would *like* to see happen. But it's because they don't think it will happen, at least not today, that they aren't pulling out of iTunes today.

The scenario they probably fear (and definitely should fear) is that if they pull out of iTunes people will return to pirating music rather than buying it from Amazon or someplace else. That's probably what I would do (just like I currently use bit torrent to get all the video that the video content owners make so difficult/expensive to acquire legally).
post #11 of 158
I have loathed Sony--and not supported them in any fashion--ever since their little rootkit/copy protection scheme back in 2005. Remember that little debacle? Scroom. Let the entire company go the way of the Walkman. They deserve it!
post #12 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

That is Sony's exact point, there are other methods. You buying it somewhere else takes that $ out of Apples hands. Sony still gets paid. So I think they do get it.

The thing is that it probably would cost Sony more to use those "other methods". Delivery through Apple is probably going to continue to be their biggest bang for the buck for some time.
post #13 of 158
That's not a problem, they pull they're stuff from iTunes and more people will pirate it. They'll do great from that won't they? Sony lost the plot years ago.
post #14 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Well... that's exactly what Sony would *like* to see happen. But it's because they don't think it will happen, at least not today, that they aren't pulling out of iTunes today.

The scenario they probably fear (and definitely should fear) is that if they pull out of iTunes people will return to pirating music rather than buying it from Amazon or someplace else. That's probably what I would do (just like I currently use bit torrent to get all the video that the video content owners make so difficult/expensive to acquire legally).

This is a very valid point. iTunes really allows people to legally acquire content. Considering the iPhone and iPod touch are such sellers and iTunes so integrated with them, getting music somewhere else, albeit pretty easy, not as easy as it is through iTunes and that will turn off people. People like a one stop shop. I just think people will stop buying Sony's stuff.
post #15 of 158
how about this clever approach
follow the rules resubmit and talk to SJ

apple could buy sony shut down its losing areas or buy the movies and song division

something big is going to happen with all those billions SJ is stockpiling
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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post #16 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

With few exceptions, if you're in music and you're not on iTunes, you're losing sales. Sony is blowing smoke.

Agreed. Prior to iTunes, the alternative online distribution methods were the likes of Napster and Kazaa.

This reminds of when ?NBC? pulled it's content from iTunes until they came crawling back shortly after when they realized how stupid a move that was.

That said, each time a major content provider has removed or threatened to remove themselves from the iTunes store, Apple has followed by being more flexible like the new rates for songs, and the timing/release/pricing of video content.

Oh and BTW, as a consumer, I like the idea of a one-stop shop for music (iTunes). And knowing Sony, they will probably wrap some ridiculous DRM where the music can only be played back on a computer using Sony software or a Sony handset or PSP or something. Let's not all forget their stupid CD copy protection fiasco. Sony used to be a company driven by cutting edge engineering. Now it just sounds like the bean counters are trying to squeeze every dollar. Sad sad sad.
post #17 of 158
Isn't Apple just a distributor? If I made a product I think that I would want it on every type of distribution channel in order to drive sales. Why would Sony think otherwise? Yes, they may make more money off their own distribution but with all Apple products being tied to Itunes, I would think it would be better business to keep that ongoing.
Any ideas?
post #18 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Well... that's exactly what Sony would *like* to see happen. But it's because they don't think it will happen, at least not today, that they aren't pulling out of iTunes today.

The scenario they probably fear (and definitely should fear) is that if they pull out of iTunes people will return to pirating music rather than buying it from Amazon or someplace else. That's probably what I would do (just like I currently use bit torrent to get all the video that the video content owners make so difficult/expensive to acquire legally).

Well dude thats not the way to go. In my case I like buying used CDs though Ebay and sites like Borders Market. That way you legally own the music but at a fraction of the cost, sometimes 20cents a track (including shipping)! Not to mention you can rip the songs at the bit rate of your choice, specially in high quality formats sometimes not available for online purchase
post #19 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

This is a very valid point. iTunes really allows people to legally acquire content. Considering the iPhone and iPod touch are such sellers and iTunes so integrated with them, getting music somewhere else, albeit pretty easy, not as easy as it is through iTunes and that will turn off people. People like a one stop shop. I just think people will stop buying Sony's stuff.

The app rejection and the revenues Sony would lose seem to make this sound like it's an excuse or red herring since the the things are so far apart in reality from a business stand point. The real reason is more likely their own rival to iTunes not wanting the iTunes competition. This is a wreck in the making for Sony imo. It is sobering to think that yesterdays weird dip in AAPL was a 10 billion dollar movement which was a mere blip for Apple but about one third of Sony's entire market cap! I still wonder if Sony might not make a nice department for Apple Inc. The music rights alone would be sweet and think of all those nice HD cameras and professional equipment.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #20 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal 9000 View Post

Well dude thats not the way to go. In my case I like buying used CDs though Ebay and sites like Borders Market. That way you legally own the music but at a fraction of the cost, sometimes 20cents a track (including shipping)! Not to mention you can rip the songs at the bit rate of your choice, specially in high quality formats sometimes not available for online purchase

You're correct. Higher quality outputs at up to 4 times the file size, per track.
post #21 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdb View Post

That's not a problem, they pull they're stuff from iTunes and more people will pirate it. They'll do great from that won't they? Sony lost the plot years ago.

"i can't buy it on itunes therefore i will steal it"? apple is making a killing off of morons...
post #22 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

The labels think that every $ in profit that Apple has made on iPods and iPhones is actually their profit that Apple has "stolen" from them.

This is coming from a company that is probably still applying "breakage" against revenues on digital downloads.
post #23 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

how about this clever approach
follow the rules resubmit and talk to SJ

apple could buy sony shut down its losing areas or buy the movies and song division

something big is going to happen with all those billions SJ is stockpiling

Never buy your customer.

Apple should stay out of the content business altogether.

That is one reason that I think iAds will fail. It doesn't support hardware sales. No one buys a device so they can watch ads.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #24 of 158
Can someone please explain to me why I so many companies and developers are throwing a fit about this? If Apple is not stopping these purchases, but rather just trying to require for the conveniece of users that there is a choice between buying through a web portal or through the App itself, then why does Sony care? Am I missing something huge here? It seems ridiculous to resist providing an in-app purchase method.
post #25 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Never buy your customer.

Apple should stay out of the content business altogether.

That is one reason that I think iAds will fail. It doesn't support hardware sales. No one buys a device so they can watch ads.

Your opinion has proven to be futile.

The platform and software are a synergy.
post #26 of 158
Any company producing content that states, "people can buy it elsewhere than iTunes" just dont get it. It's a lovely ecosystem, with MILLIONS of users that would not bother searching for stuff. BUT, when they find it a click away, and it's only a buck or so, they buy it. THEY NEVER WOULD otherwise.

Lost sales to anyone who pull from iTunes. Tough luck to all jealous arrogant dinosaurs
post #27 of 158
It's funny how these companies, including Apple, have never asked the question, "Who gives a shit about the customers?" in these back and forth high school-level antics.

That I can't get the Sony e-reader or Sony music because these "whiners" can't come up with a solution to a non-technical issue is a bunch of mackerel paste.
post #28 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Can someone please explain to me why I so many companies and developers are throwing a fit about this? If Apple is not stopping these purchases, but rather just trying to require for the conveniece of users that there is a choice between buying through a web portal or through the App itself, then why does Sony care? Am I missing something huge here? It seems ridiculous to resist providing an in-app purchase method.

I agree. I tried to buy a last-minute promotional deal while on the go and it would have been nice to be able to do it through the Yelp app with iTunes rather than go to their website and enter in all my payment information...

And most, if not all, music I buy is from ID'ing it with Shazam and then a one-click purchase. Sometimes its nice to just hear a new song debuting with the latest episode of your favorite TV show (almost every week with Castle or Chuck...) and be able to buy it for a dollar right then and there.

Capitalism. Sit back, let them argue, and eventually something will hopefully evolve from the process to the net benefit of the consumer. Compare it to say... the completely unrelated example of non-union workers who receive the benefits negotiated by unions.
post #29 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Can someone please explain to me why I so many companies and developers are throwing a fit about this? If Apple is not stopping these purchases, but rather just trying to require for the conveniece of users that there is a choice between buying through a web portal or through the App itself, then why does Sony care? Am I missing something huge here? It seems ridiculous to resist providing an in-app purchase method.

Because they know once users are given the choice of going to their individual storefront, or using Apple's one stop shopping center, most people will choose Apple. Thereby giving Apple a cut of their profit.

They would rather people stick to a less convenient method, and keep ALL of the profit from a probably smaller total purchases.
post #30 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

It only takes one to start the flood. 10 years ago iTunes was it, now things are changing a bit. One leaves, some others may follow. Curious to see how this turns out.

They won't leave... there isn't any other alternative that sells more music with so little work involved in making those sales.

Of course.... someone at Sony could be a complete and utter moron...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #31 of 158
Bye Sony. Let us know how sales go do the 5% of the market who doesn't have an iPod or iPhone as their music player.

And to the guy who buys cd's, 20 cents a track for 15 songs when I only want one or two is still more than iTunes.
post #32 of 158
I wonder when Sony and Amazon will allow iTunes / iBooks purchases on their e-readers.
post #33 of 158
One question, if Apple states they've always enforced the rule, why is the Kindle app still available on iTunes?
post #34 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by crustyjusty View Post

I wonder when Sony and Amazon will allow iTunes / iBooks purchases on their e-readers.

I am sure they would but no way Apple would allow it.
post #35 of 158
If Apple has to follow Sony's rules on music distribution then Sony should follow Apple's rules on iBooks distribution.
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #36 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

One question, if Apple states they've always enforced the rule, why is the Kindle app still available on iTunes?

Only applies to updates and new apps???
post #37 of 158
Let them sell it somewhere else. When nobody buys it there, they will come back to iTunes.

If Sony doesn't deliver their music in the method people actually want, then either it won't sell or people will go back to pirating it. iTunes works because it's easy, convenient, and gives people an incentive to pay for music rather then steal (in contrast with most other stores and their DRM-laden cesspools.)
post #38 of 158
Publishers and content providers don't think they should have to share 30% of their revenue with Apple through in-app purchases. Basically Sony wants to provide their app for free then direct customers to a webpage or something else for purchasing content to use in the app cutting Apple out of the revenue all together. And basicly just use Apple's hosting/delivery services for free. They all want access to the promised land of billions of users without paying the gatekeeper to them, or maker of that promised land. It's an industry that is so used to getting their way and screwing everyone from the artist, distributers, and customers. They really don't like having to play with someone else's rules
post #39 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

Because they know once users are given the choice of going to their individual storefront, or using Apple's one stop shopping center, most people will choose Apple. Thereby giving Apple a cut of their profit.

They would rather people stick to a less convenient method, and keep ALL of the profit from a probably smaller total purchases.

This is helpful. I wasn't quite making the greed connection in my head for some reason. I have no idea how this could have escaped me. If iTunes suddenly went out of business, I certainly wouldn't start buying from Sony directly, or any of the other labels for that matter. I am not interested in having multiple sites, with multiple storefronts, and multiple price points and terms of service agreements, requiring me to have multiple accounts and likely multiple jukebox applications to use and manage it all. I want a single simple and integrated source, like iTunes.

If iTunes were to vanish, I would likely move over to Amazon to buy all my music. And of course then it is Amazon that has this power and that companies would be saying are unfairly taking a big cut, and causing their poor artists to go hungry, etc....dictator...blah blah...Hitler....yada yada...poor Sony cant afford food and clothing.
post #40 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

how about this clever approach
follow the rules resubmit and talk to SJ

That's just it, SONY would NEVER talk to SJ. SONY hates that Apple's replaced them as the most recognized brand of electronics maker.
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