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Music service's structure, plus Apple's culture, holding up 'iRadio' service

post #1 of 36
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Industry sources are saying that Google's willingness to acquiesce to music label demands and the structure of the hybrid service Apple is trying to build are the main reasons why the search giant's music service is live now while the iPhone maker's offering might miss WWDC.

musica


Google rolled out All Access for Google Play Music users this week during the keynote for its I/O developer conference, beating Apple by at least weeks to what some industry players hope will be the future of music: subscription-based services. Meanwhile, Apple's status as a hardware tech giant isn't helping it as much as it would have hoped with the music labels, sources tell The Verge.

One obstacle to Apple rolling out its long-anticipated "iRadio" service is the Cupertino company's longtime resistance to paying advances to the major copyright holders. That, along with an initial lowball royalty offer to the record labels, has kept Apple's service in a holding pattern, even as the company's Worldwide Developers Conference approaches.

Instead of an up front assurance payment, Apple is said to be offering a combination of royalties per track streamed, a share of iRadio's advertising revenue, and a guaranteed minimum payment if the previous two options prove insufficient. Universal Music may have already agreed to Apple's terms, but Sony Music is thought to be the main holdout.

Google, meanwhile, is said to have agreed to pay advances in order to get its service out the door. Google's choice to hew to the path worn by services like Spotify and Rdio ? that of the plain subscription service with some radio and discovery elements ? is also said to be more to the music labels' liking. The labels, burnt early in the last decade by rampant file sharing, are looking to secure a steady revenue stream in exchange for their product, assuring that songwriters, engineers, publishers, and other shareholders continue to be paid.

Apple's offering, on the other hand, is reportedly more of a hybrid service, blending elements of Internet radio with other on-demand features. The licensing agreements for such a service, sources say, must be built from the ground up, and those negotiations are part of what's holding the service up.

In addition to Google's All Access, Apple's offering would join Spotify, Rdio, Microsoft's Xbox Music, and others in the new generation of music discovery and consumption sources. The record labels are encouraged by the number of options consumers have to access their product of late. iTunes may have contributed greatly to the industry's first revenue growth in years, but the labels have historically been wary of Apple's overwhelming influence on their industry.
post #2 of 36
9to5 reports a security issue with iTunes that might need patching too. Free copies of the 74 minute Daft Punk Random Access Memories that shouldn't be that easy?

EDIT: I noticed that the album was streamed for free at iTunes a few days ago. Could that be at the root of it?
Edited by Gatorguy - 5/17/13 at 10:56am
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post #3 of 36
Of course google will acquiesce to the labels. They'll just add ads to the music and/or just mine what users are listening to and pop up ads is the user's google services.
post #4 of 36
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Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Of course google will acquiesce to the labels. They'll just add ads to the music and/or just mine what users are listening to and pop up ads is the user's google services.

Actually that's the rumored way Apple's streaming "radio" service will work. Targeted ads with the revenue split between the content owner and Apple. Google's service on the other hand appears to be paid rather than ad-supported. Dunno for sure yet tho.

 

EDIT: According to several different news articles, Google will not have a free ad-supported version of it's All-Access music streaming service.  If the rumor of Apple's being ad-supported turns out to be true that would be a big 'ol role-switch.

 

Apple data-mining to support streaming while Google sells it's music service? Nah. . .


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/17/13 at 11:10am
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post #5 of 36
If Apple and Sony were close on price but still duking it out, a part of the reason Google might have agreed to Sony's terms is specifically to *torpedo* Apple's service.

It seems fairly self-evident that if two party's are negotiating with Sony and one party agrees to their demands that this will give them the seal of approval to a certain extent and validate Sony's position versus Apple's.

Google's recent agreement might have been the very thing that stopped the negotiations with Apple and that alone might be the reason Google is doing it. We all know Google doesn't give a shit about the arts or media in general and that it's likely that whatever service they bring out will be gone in a few years anyway.
Edited by Gazoobee - 5/17/13 at 11:16am
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

If Apple and Sony were close on price but still duking it out, that a part of the reason Google might have agreed to Sony's terms is specifically to *torpedo* Apple's service.

It seems fairly self-evident that if two party's are negotiating with Sony and one party agrees to their demands that this will give them the seal of approval to a certain extent and validate Sony's position versus Apple's.

Google's recent agreement might have been the very thing that stopped the negotiations with Apple and that alone might be the reason Google is doing it. We all know Google doesn't give a shit about the arts or media in general and that it's likely that whatever service they bring out will be gone in a few years anyway.

It sounds as tho at least Sony, if not some other music label, isn't as fond (or trusting?) of Apple's intent to monetize the service thru targeted ads as they are of Google's straight-up cash royalty offer. Why Apple would be pursuing an ad-supported radio while Google went with paid is strange indeed.

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post #7 of 36
Seems pretty obvious Google was going to do whatever the content providers wanted in order to get a Spotfiy killer out there before Appe announced anything. Since Apple doesn't care about being first (and at this point there is no first mover advantage in this space) they're not doing that.
post #8 of 36

Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?

Why be first to market when you can watch others fail and learn from them. iPad wasn't the first tablet. iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. iPhone wasn't the first smartphone.
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Why be first to market when you can watch others fail and learn from them. iPad wasn't the first tablet. iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. iPhone wasn't the first smartphone.

With several streaming music services already, some that have been around for quite awhile now, neither Google nor Apple could claim "first" anyway.

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post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?

 

Apple didn't have the first smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or PC. What on Earth are you talking about? Heck, by your logic, why bother with streaming? Pandora beat them to it.

post #12 of 36
This article sounds even more like they aren't doing Pandora/Spotify but Lala.com, despite alleged sources basically saying they were doing Pandora/Spotify.

Or perhaps nothing and these claims of 'delays' are the start of seeding the typical 'we were riding about what we said but then something screwed it up' that comes up with a lot of Apple rumors these days. Like how the 'real' TV has been delayed until 2014 due to production issues etc. I expect in a couple of months or so Apple will release a n dumb Cinema Display with HDMI and a bigger size or two which was always the plan but then the analysts etc will say that 'licensing' or such prevented Apple from releasing the real AppleTV at least for now so this dumb display is an in between.

Just like if Apple restores Lala they will claim its a midway to the real service. Double if its brought into the paid iTunes Match only.

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post #13 of 36
Why should Apple bother with it's own streaming music. Currently there are multiple streaming services on the appstore that lead or can lead directly to iTunes. There is the well reported Pandora and Spotify, but also iRadio, TuneIn radio and many others. Let these companies and Google duke it out while paying royalties to the record companies. People still want to own their own music, and when they hear a song they like, Apple should make arrangements to have an iTunes link available so that purchases can be made. Pandora and TuneIn Radio have such a link, but I noted iRadio does not. However I have been able to play iRadio while turning on Shazam and identifying the name of the song. Apple should put music identification software into iTunes, and make financial arrangements with the various streaming music companies rather then trying to compete with them.
post #14 of 36
Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.
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post #15 of 36
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Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post

Apple didn't have the first smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or PC. What on Earth are you talking about? Heck, by your logic, why bother with streaming? Pandora beat them to it.

And not being first often has tremendous advantages. Learning from others mistakes is very cost effective.
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post #16 of 36
"Missing" WWDC?

Why would a developer's conference ever have been a deadline for a music streaming service? It would be a pretty random footnote--they could work it in if they had to, but why would they need to?
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.

I highly doubt that. It's not just Google they're up against.
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post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.

So you do think ad-supported media consumption services are the best way to go rather than paid subscription?

 

EDIT: Google's service is already "multi-device" accessible. Listen via your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It's available to any device that can access Google Play music. Pretty similar to Apple's offerings for the most part, excepting the new streaming features.


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/17/13 at 11:57am
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post #19 of 36
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Originally Posted by jrogowsk View Post

Why should Apple bother with it's own streaming music. Currently there are multiple streaming services on the appstore that lead or can lead directly to iTunes. There is the well reported Pandora and Spotify, but also iRadio, TuneIn radio and many others. Let these companies and Google duke it out while paying royalties to the record companies. People still want to own their own music, and when they hear a song they like, Apple should make arrangements to have an iTunes link available so that purchases can be made. Pandora and TuneIn Radio have such a link, but I noted iRadio does not. However I have been able to play iRadio while turning on Shazam and identifying the name of the song. Apple should put music identification software into iTunes, and make financial arrangements with the various streaming music companies rather then trying to compete with them.

Because eventually people will just stream music rather than buy it.
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post #20 of 36
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Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I highly doubt that. It's not just Google they're up against.

 

I think it's a highly plausible scenario, even though we will never know for certain.  History has shown so far that consumers are not really interested in mobile OS's that are "different" from the dominant iOS and the iOS copy, Android.  Without the existence of the copy, most users would probably save up their money and go for iOS.  

 

If not for the rise of Android as a copy-cat OS, Apple would be enjoying more of a monopoly situation right now and the media companies would have had to play ball.  An unfortunate negative result of this would be that no doubt all the stories in the press would be angsty hand-wringing over whether Apple's dominance constitutes a "monopoly."  Back on the plus side however, it might have also had the effect of forcing Apple to offer users more choice since they would be the only game in town.  

post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?

You are so wrong about everything. Being first doesn't guarantee you anything. Apple was not the first to market mp3 players (iPod), tablets (iPad) or smartphones (iPhone) but revolutionized those markets when they did enter those markets. It is not about being first, it is all about getting it right.

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post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.

 

If you knew anything about economics, you would know that a monopoly never leads to better choices for consumers.  The best possible case is that several services compete for consumer dollars because that drives innovation.

 

Furthermore, Google's "copy" of iOS has led to Apple adding several features to its software and devices, and vice-versa.  For example, you now have a notification center, native integration of Facebook and Twitter, a larger screen, automated replies while dismissing a call, synchronized browser tabs across devices, and turn-by-turn navigation.  Thanks to iOS, Android has drag and drop folder creation, a smoother UI, a natural language assistant, and group messaging.  None of these features are features that would never have happened without competition, but they almost certainly happened earlier because of it.

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I think it's a highly plausible scenario, even though we will never know for certain.  History has shown so far that consumers are not really interested in mobile OS's that are "different" from the dominant iOS and the iOS copy, Android.  Without the existence of the copy, most users would probably save up their money and go for iOS.  

If not for the rise of Android as a copy-cat OS, Apple would be enjoying more of a monopoly situation right now and the media companies would have had to play ball.  An unfortunate negative result of this would be that no doubt all the stories in the press would be angsty hand-wringing over whether Apple's dominance constitutes a "monopoly."  Back on the plus side however, it might have also had the effect of forcing Apple to offer users more choice since they would be the only game in town.  

I can watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, VUDU, etc on my DVD player, on my Roku, and built into my Panasonic TV, I need neither iOS nor Android. I can read ebooks purchased from Amazon and Barnes and Noble on my computer, my smartphone and tablet regardless of platform. I'll give you music but Apple has never had the chance to monopolize other media forms.
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post #24 of 36
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Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

 

If you knew anything about economics, you would know that a monopoly never leads to better choices for consumers.  The best possible case is that several services compete for consumer dollars because that drives innovation.

 

Furthermore, Google's "copy" of iOS has led to Apple adding several features to its software and devices, and vice-versa.  For example, you now have a notification center, native integration of Facebook and Twitter, a larger screen, automated replies while dismissing a call, synchronized browser tabs across devices, and turn-by-turn navigation.  Thanks to iOS, Android has drag and drop folder creation, a smoother UI, a natural language assistant, and group messaging.  None of these features are features that would never have happened without competition, but they almost certainly happened earlier because of it.

 

In fact, what you just said, is one of the arguments against the (government-granted) monopoly on intellectual property.

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post #25 of 36
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Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I can watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, VUDU, etc on my DVD player, on my Roku, and built into my Panasonic TV, I need neither iOS nor Android.

 

Yeah, my TV has all that stuff built-in too. Made me wonder what real value Roku or AppleTV would bring me. I think Apple's on an uphill battle here. Maybe if the build the whole TV, and it's not massively overpriced and it provides some compelling feature (ease of use might be nice), I'd buy that. But, for me, right now, AppleTV is a non-starter.

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post #26 of 36
Ad-supported music streaming by Apple? Not so keen on that. Unless you have the choice of free streaming with ads or a paid ad-free subscription instead, then its ok.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Actually that's the rumored way Apple's streaming "radio" service will work. Targeted ads with the revenue split between the content owner and Apple. Google's service on the other hand appears to be paid rather than ad-supported. Dunno for sure yet tho.

EDIT: According to several different news articles, Google will not have a free ad-supported version of it's All-Access music streaming service.  If the rumor of Apple's being ad-supported turns out to be true that would be a big 'ol role-switch.

Apple data-mining to support streaming while Google sells it's music service? Nah. . .

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post #28 of 36
Every time someone tries to block Apple, they find a way around them. In the end, Apple makes more money, and the attempted blocker makes less. Even when Apple was blocked from using money, brought back from overseas, to to pay for dividends and stock buyback, they found an end around.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCProfessor View Post

Yeah there is the old saying that the second mouse gets the cheese. Sorry for the temp hyjack, but what is the history with the naming of the "i-this?" I suppose that the "i" suggests individual or something, but on the other hand it seems self-centered and narcissistic in which case I'm trading everything from a washer and dryer to TVs to a new fridge to phones as that suits me to a t or should I say "i."  

In the original iMac, the "I" stood for Internet. It just stuck with the other products to make it consistent and for customers to know only Apple makes "iDevices".
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Seconded.  If you look at his posting history, aside from one time where he takes a homophobe to task, every single post is a one sentence, negative troll/insult "f*ck Apple" kind of remark.  
He contributes nothing but hate.

He is just jealous of their success or he is trying to justify his purchase of non-Apple hardware to himself. Apple forums are infested with these types of people. They hate Apple but can't help talking about them.
post #31 of 36
Industry very wary of Apple. So scared of another iTunes domination. No doubt about it Apple are loosing their charm and wow factor.
post #32 of 36
According to cnet, Apple wants to allow users to be able to skip a song after they've partially played it and Sony is balking at that idea. I guess Pandora offers 12 skips but they pay the record companies for every song skipped. Maybe Apple will decide to go the Spotify route although I'm sure they're thinking about what the consequences would be for iTunes. Do they have enough of an advantage content wise that they could charge more than Spotify, Rdo or Google does?
post #33 of 36

Recently I've been exploring Spotify and I like the ability to listen to a full album/song before purchasing it, but I do want to purchase it.  I can't see myself paying a monthly fee to stream music.  I guess it could happen, but I'd much rather pay once for a song/album and have it "forever."  So coming from my perspective, an ad supported music streaming service from Apple would be great.  I'd stream very infrequently but it will prove very helpful in making purchasing decisions.

 

If the service requires a monthly fee, I'll never use it.  Why bother when I can just hop on over to Spotify (for free) to make my buying decisions?

post #34 of 36
The others are more desperate to grow their ecosystem.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

In fact, what you just said, is one of the arguments against the (government-granted) monopoly on intellectual property.

But it's a temporary monopoly. I fully believe someone should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor before someone else can.
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post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

If not for the rise of Android as a copy-cat OS, Apple would be enjoying more of a monopoly situation right now and the media companies would have had to play ball.  An unfortunate negative result of this would be that no doubt all the stories in the press would be angsty hand-wringing over whether Apple's dominance constitutes a "monopoly."  Back on the plus side however, it might have also had the effect of forcing Apple to offer users more choice since they would be the only game in town.  

What are the two of you smoking? What does Google have to do with Apple's lack of a monopoly on digital media? (I mean of course besides just your hatred of Google.)

Apple has only had anything resembling a monopoly on digital media in regards to music and even then for a very long time CD sales continued to outstrip Apple. Apple never had a monopoly on digital distribution of movies or TV. The studios made sure of that after seeing the huge amount of control Apple wielded over the music industry. Amazon originally dominated eBooks. Heck, I'd argue they are responsible for that segment of digital media actually existing today.

Apple isn't losing ground in digital music sales to Google; it's losing it to Amazon and to services like Spotify and Pandora. Apple never dominated digital video distribution; it was always second fiddle to the likes of YouTube and Netflix and is losing ground on video sales to Amazon and even Microsoft.

And if you're going to blame a company for working against the consumer, how about spreading a little blame Apple's way for helping to increase the cost of eBooks?
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