[edit: Sorry to anyone reading: I'm using OW5, and I keep forgetting that it really hates text fields, so I had to submit this mid-composition in order to switch browsers. -Amorph]
Originally posted by johnsonwax
Yeah, I think we've learned by now that these emotional reponses don't actually exist in companies.
I love the pretense that money turns human beings into objective robots. That transformation is, if anything, miraculous when it does happen.
2) It's not an emotional reaction. If you have a supplier:customer relationship between two customers, and the supplier suddenly becomes a competitor, then the customer can no longer assume that the supplier will be committed to supplying their best stuff. We're already seeing this with Apple: Logic is shipping with internal frameworks to work around holes in CoreAudio that are preventing other companies from shipping their
flagship audio software. It's not going over well.
3) I've seen exactly this happen in other industries. Remo lost lots of accounts as a drumhead supplier when they rolled out their own drums. In fact, businesses actually sprang into existence to fill the gap. It's flatly obvious that it's unwise to depend on a competitor for the materials and equipment you need
in order to maintain a competitive edge.
Apple works with MS and MS with Apple because it's profitable to do so. IBM and AMD work together because it's profitable to do so. Ford and GM work together because it's profitable to do so.
Apple, IBM and MS entered into the agreements they have knowing already that they were working with competitors. Ford and GM entered into their agreements knowing for decades that they were competitors.
Those examples have even less relevance to Apple-as-publisher than Sony does. Apple as publisher changes the fundamental relationship between Apple itself and its bedrock professional market.
So long as Apple doesn't impact the financials of the labels or limit their ability to operate, they really won't care. If Apple-the-hardware-and-software-company doesn't disturb the labels, they won't drop them due to Apple-the-content-creator.
Right, and all of a sudden there's a big if
there, isn't there? Adobe's been talking this line for a while now. Now, you or I could argue that they're wrong, but development cancelled and goodwill lost because of fear rather than fact is still development cancelled and goodwill lost.
If Apple stays where they are now, there is no if
. Apple only impacts the financials of the labels positively, enhances their ability to operate, etc. The relationship is completely unambiguous as it stands.
Now, if Apple buys a label and only offers content in AAC and doesn't restrict/tax the ability of other labels to offer in AAC or impede their ability to offer in WMP or anything else, why on earth should they care?
If you had any idea what insane lengths record companies went to to railroad artists and control markets, you might think twice before asking that. The big 5 are not known for being reasonable.
That said, you know why the content companies have kept MS at arm's length? Because they don't trust MS. Why? Because MS is too aggressive and too competitive. They don't consider MS a reliable partner. They do consider Apple reliable, however, because Apple has for years done nothing but supply them with the best stuff available to create and publish content.
What'll *really* piss off the other labels is if Apple really dicks with the contract/distribution system, but that's them being pissed off with a label breaking ranks, not a label being in with a tech company. That, I believe, is a real possibility, BTW, but really has nothing to do with Apple-the-hardware-and-software-company.
Apple is already "dicking with" the contractual and distribution systems, but they can do this because they've earned the trust of the label heads. If they lose that trust, they lose a lot of the power they have to get the contractual and distribution agreements that have powered iTMS' success up to this point.