Record industry to pit proprietary CMX against Apple's Cocktail

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Four of the world's largest record companies have come together to create a new digital album format that will give customers lyrics, artwork and videos, in an effort to compete with Apple's own similar project, code-named "Cocktail."



The record companies reportedly approached Apple with their concept, but the iPod-maker allegedly rejected the proposal. In a report from The Times in the U.K., Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI detail CMX -- their own independent response created by Apple's supposed rejection.



"Apple at first told us they were not interested," an unnamed record label insider reportedly said, "but now they have decided to do their own, in case ours catches on."



He continued: "Ours will be a file that you click on, it opens and it would have a totally brand new look, with a launch page and all of the different options. When you click on it, you're not just going to get the ten tracks, you're going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products."



The four record companies reportedly approached Apple about their concept 18 months ago, but they were rebuffed by the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. The report does not state whether the record companies' new format would work with iTunes or on iPods.



Apple's alleged response, under the codename "Cocktail," also aims to bundle special extras with downloads, in an effort to rekindle sales of entire albums, which have given way to purchases of digital singles. The effort is purportedly a multi-party collaboration between Apple, EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal -- the same four also behind CMX.



Cocktail is rumored resemble an app, and will include both the usual notes but also separate lyrics, photos and other material that listeners could navigate outside of the usual iTunes player. It would even be possible to play all the songs from this environment. Reports suggest Cocktail could be ready by September, when Apple is expected to debut new iPods.



The record companies' own CMX will see a soft launch with a small number of releases in November. Reportedly, one of the first offerings could be a new U2 album.



"We are not going out in force,? the source told The Times. ?What you are going to see is a couple of releases thrown out there to see what people like. We are working with the retailers now."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    with apple's marketshare, where will you play the "open" format? and the days of the stand alone music player are long gone. the cheapo hardware is so powerful today that the music player is just another app.



    and i don't see any value in this either. I want something like a DVD to replace the CD where i get the music in better quality than the CD, videos and whatever else they can think up of with the ability to transfer this to any cell phone and PC to listen to on the go or at work
  • Reply 2 of 51
    I don't get why this news is getting as much coverage as it is. Anything new that they come up with that has DRM and doesn't quite frankly work with iTunes/iPod, is doomed anyway. Move along - nothing to see here. As the young-uns say: epic fail



    Hey music companies, we have a digital music format, it's called "mp3s" sheesh



    /rant off
  • Reply 3 of 51
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    The whole concept is shaky at best. Apple is the only company with any possibility of making it viable. However the idea will not work unless the artists embrace it and make it in to a thing of real value, like many did with record covers. If there is any whiff of this being simply a cynical exercise to sell the filler tracks on an album then, indeed yes... epic fail.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    We'll see what the folks in the USDoJ and EU's antitrust enforcers think about it.....
  • Reply 5 of 51
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    They just don't get it, do they? The fact is that the music industry has become so powerful that they direct the artists on what THEY want them to do and it's become so bland and lifeless that people just don't care. The days are gone when artists actually had control of their own direction and produced blockbuster albums like Led Zeppelin IV, Exile On Mainstreet, Back In Black, Who's Next... They now commercialize it so heavily, yet the content just isn't there and people avoid buying the crap. They now pick and choose what they want to listen to, avoiding all the fluff and saving money in the process.



    If the music industry wants to move forward, they need to stop paying people like Simon Cowell and Clive Davis ridiculous sums of money to chew up and spit out acts that never have any staying power because they're pulling the strings instead of the artists. We'll never have another Led Zeppelin or Micheal Jackson as long as they do.



    On top of that, what's the point of pushing a format not compatible with iPod? Hasn't the other manufacturers all but given up? Who actually buys a competing product?
  • Reply 6 of 51
    Album? What is this "album" of which they speak?



    Why would anyone want to be forced to buy songs they don't want?
  • Reply 7 of 51
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    Albums sucks because too many people are just searching for the hit song and consumers now understand that a few hit songs + filler is a waste of time.



    Flashy graphics, bios and lyrics to songs I care nothing for isn't going to make me spend extra money.



    Though CMX or Cocktail will be a boon for people on the fence about buying individual tracks vs the whole enchilada.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike Nassour View Post


    Album? What is this "album" of which they speak?



    Why would anyone want to be forced to buy songs they don't want?



    Yeah, and when are they going to start selling chapters of a book individually? Who wants to be forced to pay for the middle bits when all we really want is the juicy first and last chapters?



    And speaking of songs... Why do I have to pay 99 cents for a whole one? Why can't I just pay 33 cents for the chorus?
  • Reply 9 of 51
    I've got a simple question:



    Why do we even need recording labels these days? The equipment to produce your own music is definitely coming down in price to the point where for 1000, you can pick up a mac, monitor, a microphone (SM58), and maybe a piano keyboard (ailbet small) and do it all yourself. Have enough pillows and mattresses laying around and you have a mini sound booth.



    So why don't we have more places where independent artists can sell their own music? Even big names could still sell without the record labels. Skip the middle man. All the big names really need now are their agents who sign them up for different tours and advertising gigs. I'm sure there could be a market for smaller bands to do the same thing.



    I understand the record labels were there because the costs to make a record were so prohibitive to the individual in the past. These days that just isn't the case. Digital media is easy to produce, and reproduce.



    For the Apple tie-in: Can individual artists sell their music on iTunes? (If so, link me) I would think that would be a great little market to get into, the indie area. They push it so much with the iLife and Logic products.



    Thoughts?
  • Reply 10 of 51
    snafusnafu Posts: 37member
    Just what we need: another proprietary format, be it from Apple or from the record companies. An "Album" format? Well, just bundle a PDF with the Mp3s or AACs and please metadata the music files to the gills (lyrics, covers, descriptions, whatever). There, done it!



    Also, don't they realize that letting us download the PDFs and read them for free could perhaps I don't know encourage us to get the whole set of songs out of curiosity?



    Sheesh!
  • Reply 11 of 51
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,345member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dblanch369 View Post


    Hey music companies, we have a digital music format, it's called "mp3s" sheesh

    /rant off



    Actually, that would be MP4s, or more formally, AACs.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,345member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Albums sucks because too many people are just searching for the hit song and consumers now understand that a few hit songs + filler is a waste of time.



    As many people came to realize, iTunes opened up so much more new music to them beyond the "hits" that the radio stations play. There's tons of great music out there that most people don't even get to enjoy because they are spoonfed what is "hot".
  • Reply 13 of 51
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Wow, I cannot wait to see what the record companies come up with, given that they have an excellent track record of adopting new technology.



    I'm sure that whatever they come up with will be riddled with DRM that makes FairPlay look like the clasp on a 1980's lunchbox. I wouldn't doubt if they team with Sony to create the DRM, since they're adept at providing DRM solutions that are invisible to the end user.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    I've got a simple question:





    So why don't we have more places where independent artists can sell their own music? Even big names could still sell without the record labels. Skip the middle man. All the big names really need now are their agents who sign them up for different tours and advertising gigs. I'm sure there could be a market for smaller bands to do the same thing.




    I understand the thought process behind this. And I agree, in a perfect world without P2P sites and where everyone paid for music, and radio stations actually played new artists based on the merits of songs, this may work..



    Unfortunately, in most cases, for any artist to achieve the visibility to actually make a living doing music, they need the finances and promotion of a label to get heard and pay for videos, tour support, etc. etc... Yes, labels have become corrupted and the system is broken.. Many indie artists do record and sell their own music through iTunes and other digital services, but VERY few actually ever get any decent exposure and/or are able to make a modest living at it..
  • Reply 15 of 51
    iansilviansilv Posts: 283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    They just don't get it, do they? The fact is that the music industry has become so powerful that they direct the artists on what THEY want them to do and it's become so bland and lifeless that people just don't care. The days are gone when artists actually had control of their own direction and produced blockbuster albums like Led Zeppelin IV, Exile On Mainstreet, Back In Black, Who's Next... They now commercialize it so heavily, yet the content just isn't there and people avoid buying the crap. They now pick and choose what they want to listen to, avoiding all the fluff and saving money in the process.



    If the music industry wants to move forward, they need to stop paying people like Simon Cowell and Clive Davis ridiculous sums of money to chew up and spit out acts that never have any staying power because they're pulling the strings instead of the artists. We'll never have another Led Zeppelin or Micheal Jackson as long as they do.



    On top of that, what's the point of pushing a format not compatible with iPod? Hasn't the other manufacturers all but given up? Who actually buys a competing product?



    Amen. Personally, I think this whole thing is a complete and utter waste of time, money and resources. Until these assholes actually foster creativity amongst their artists, we are looking at crap music for a long time.



    The fact is though, more and more technology is driving the tools to create the artists' vision right in to their garages, and the record companies are becoming irrelevant...
  • Reply 16 of 51
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    They just don't get it, do they? The fact is that the music industry has become so powerful that they direct the artists on what THEY want them to do and it's become so bland and lifeless that people just don't care. The days are gone when artists actually had control of their own direction and produced blockbuster albums like Led Zeppelin IV, Exile On Mainstreet, Back In Black, Who's Next... They now commercialize it so heavily, yet the content just isn't there and people avoid buying the crap. They now pick and choose what they want to listen to, avoiding all the fluff and saving money in the process.



    If the music industry wants to move forward, they need to stop paying people like Simon Cowell and Clive Davis ridiculous sums of money to chew up and spit out acts that never have any staying power because they're pulling the strings instead of the artists. We'll never have another Led Zeppelin or Micheal Jackson as long as they do.



    On top of that, what's the point of pushing a format not compatible with iPod? Hasn't the other manufacturers all but given up? Who actually buys a competing product?



    artists don't have enough money to run themselves except on a small scale. Beyonce had 5 videos from her last album. my guess is that it cost close to $50 million for the studio and video production costs.



    then there is playing live. Last year Frontier Airlines filed Chapter 11 because the CC processor wanted $150 million as escrow in case of financial troubles.



    say you sell out a 20,000 seat arena at an average price of $100 per ticket. that's $20,000,000. no CC company will let you sell these tickets without a lot of money up front as a deposit in case you cancel a show. Just because you cancel a show and have to return the $20,000,000 doesn't mean you still don't pay most of the up front costs of setting up a concert. that's why you need Livenation to lend artists tens of millions of $$$
  • Reply 17 of 51
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    We'll see what the folks in the USDoJ and EU's antitrust enforcers think about it.....



    On the other hand, if their albums are bundled as apps, and then Apple rejects their iPhone/touch version of the app, think the Feds will have anything to say about that (given they are already taking a close look at App Store rejection decisions)?



    Apple's near monopoly in iPod music players isn't illegal because you didn't have to go through Apple to get the music to play on it and Apple didn't open the platform up for 3rd party development (except for a very limited selection of games). But as more and more of that iPod market share converts to iPhone/touch market share as a general computing platform, it's going to be harder and harder for Apple to be allowed to have complete control over what gets accepted for the App store.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    Amen. Personally, I think this whole thing is a complete and utter waste of time, money and resources. Until these assholes actually foster creativity amongst their artists, we are looking at crap music for a long time.



    The fact is though, more and more technology is driving the tools to create the artists' vision right in to their garages, and the record companies are becoming irrelevant...



    The technology for an indie artist to make a professional recording in their garage is already here and has been for the last 10 years.. But as sad as it is, unless these artists are independently wealthy so that they can quit their day jobs and pay for videos, promotion and touring (while losing money) until they are established, 99% of them will never be heard by the mainstream.



    Touring is very expensive for an unknown artist and costs much more than an average indie band will make in one night. Hotels, vehicle rentals, gas, flights, food... It all adds up to more than the $500 bucks or so they may make at the door (if they are lucky.)
  • Reply 19 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solsun View Post


    And speaking of songs... Why do I have to pay 99 cents for a whole one? Why can't I just pay 33 cents for the chorus?



    Thats a great idea. Seriously.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solsun View Post


    I understand the thought process behind this. And I agree, in a perfect world without P2P sites and where everyone paid for music, and radio stations actually played new artists based on the merits of songs, this may work..



    Unfortunately, in most cases, for any artist to achieve the visibility to actually make a living doing music, they need the finances and promotion of a label to get heard and pay for videos, tour support, etc. etc... Yes, labels have become corrupted and the system is broken.. Many indie artists do record and sell their own music through iTunes and other digital services, but VERY few actually ever get any decent exposure and/or are able to make a modest living at it..



    I know... pipe dream is all really. My main goal in my statements is the fact that technology has improved greatly, that something different in that industry should and could come along.

    For that matter, something different in many industries would be a good thing for a lot of people. (Apple too... they are just as bad as the other computer companies out there, and at times worse.) But I don't see things changing anytime soon... hence the pipe dream.
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