Apple clarifies cloud strategy for music labels

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has reportedly informed music labels that it wants to protect the existing market for paid song downloads, positioning its cloud strategy for iTunes as a form of "insurance."



Apple has consistently pushed for direct downloads in iTunes, as opposed to the rental music subscriptions services offered by Microsoft and Rhapsody, or the streaming music on demand services operated by today's Pandora, Rdio, and MOG.



As news began to leak about its online plans over the last two years, it remained clear that Apple viewed music as a downloads business, with its proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile.



At the end of 2009, Apple acquired Lala, a business based around selling both downloads and the right to play online songs, as well as the ability for users to upload their own music for remote playback from various devices.



Apple shut the site down last spring amid rumors that it hoped to use Lala to build its own iTunes cloud service around the concept of enabling users to upload their music to Apple's servers for online playback.



Reports have noted that Apple's cloud plans for iTunes seemed to be thwarted by the labels, who wanted additional performance royalties from Apple for allowing users to play back their purchased downloads from its servers.



A new report by the Financial Times says that a "person with knowledge of Apple?s plans said the company did not want to undermine the market that it dominates for paid downloads, likening its plans for the cloud to 'insurance.'"



This contrasts with the plans by the Swedish Spotify, which rather than selling downloads like Apple or Amazon, is seeking to stream unlimited music to subscribers on desktop or mobile systems, or for free with radio-style ads. Songs can also be purchased from Spotify's music download parter.



Spotify is in talks with major US labels to begin offering the service in America; it is currently available only in Spain, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Sony Music and EMI have reportedly already signed deals with Spotify, while Warner and Universal are said to still be in talks with the music service, aiming for a summer launch. Both are said to be wary about how much free music the service will offer to unpaid listeners.



Following the collapse of CD sales, digital downloads are said to be slowing as well, leaving the labels increasingly worried about the business prospects of prerecorded music going forward. Both EMI and Warner are being shopped around for a buyer, making the outcome of Spotify talks an important factor in their valuation.



Google is also expecting to launch a music business, and according to the report has indicated to labels that it wants to open a store by next month, but it does not yet have deals in place to sell their music. Like Apple, Google hopes to mix a downloads store with the ability for users to bank their music in the cloud for flexible, remote playback.



Apple's plans to set up subscription in app purchases have been criticized by a number of service providers who offer content through apps, suggesting that the company's 30 percent cut of sales made within iOS apps will drive them out of business. It isn't yet clear if Apple's plans for periodicals actually even apply to Software As A Service or other online content access apps like Spotify, Hulu, Kindle, or Netflix, however.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    So what does this mean? Soon we will be to put our music collection on MobileMe and stream our music to our iOS device, mac's and possibly pcs?
  • Reply 2 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by j_lavasser View Post


    So what does this mean? Soon we will be to put our music collection on MobileMe and stream our music to our iOS device, mac's and possibly pcs?



    That's exactly how I understand it.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Both EMI and Warner are being shopped around for a buyer, making the outcome of Spotify talks an important factor in their valuation.



    is AI serious? What sort of market force is Spotify? They're nothing. If all of a sudden EMI's content was denied access to iTunes, I'd say that would have a material impact on EMI's valuation since iTunes is the worlds biggest music retailer. A deal with Spotify, though? Come on!
  • Reply 4 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    This article has little meat.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    This article has little meat.



    The original FT article had little meat.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    axualaxual Posts: 244member
    "... proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile".



    Isn't mobile using an iPhone or iPod, which are mobile devices, which store all the music, which doesn't require a network connection?



    The cloud is indeed, cloudy.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    We'll know more next week.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axual View Post


    "... proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile".



    Isn't mobile using an iPhone or iPod, which are mobile devices, which store all the music, which doesn't require a network connection?



    The cloud is indeed, cloudy.



    I understand it as all your music being hosted on your own computer, synced to MobileMe, and then streamed to your iDevice or any other internet capable device Apple opens the service up to. That way you still own the music but don't have to use all of your device's storage space.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by j_lavasser View Post


    So what does this mean? Soon we will be to put our music collection on MobileMe and stream our music to our iOS device, mac's and possibly pcs?



    I doubt it. I think you?ll be able to access your music from the cloud, but I don?t think you?ll be putting your music onto the cloud.



    The only way I can see this feasibly working*is a simple file you upload to the iTunes Servers via the iTunes app that contains your iTunes Library info, which then allows your account to access your content for streaming on the go on an iDevice when you?re logged in to your iTunes account.



    You are likely already sending all the info they need when you send them your iTunes Genius updates.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    Quote:

    Reports have noted that Apple's cloud plans for iTunes seemed to be thwarted by the labels, who wanted additional performance royalties from Apple for allowing users to play back their purchased downloads from its servers.



    What? Are you kidding me? Who thinks this makes sense at all? This makes me want to slap all the record execs and go back to stealing music. And I thought I couldn't hate them anymore than I already do.



    Seems like there are robots sitting around contemplating how to make people miserable by finding ways to ruin every form of market evolution that creates a viable evolution, one in which they get to survive.



    When will the Record labels get in the drivers seat instead trying to stop the train from running over them. They need to wise up and understand that they only get a few chances to steer the market solutions, if they don't someone else will (apple) and then they will have to put up or shut up.



    There is a thing called a win/win. Their "wins" repeatedly turn into "loses."



    We made you freaking rich (label execs), now do something to pay us back or we will continue to ruin your industry and your chances for turning in your leased 2009 black BMW 750i for the 2011 black BMW 750i that you deserve so badly.



    This is simple, Apple gives people what they want and need and they look forward, all the labels are looking backwards and trying to road block progress, has that strategy ever worked?



    Sorry for the rant, we need to over through these retards like they did Mubarack.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post


    I doubt it. I think you’ll be able to access your music from the cloud, but I don’t think you’ll be putting your music onto the cloud.



    The only way I can see this feasibly working*is a simple file you upload to the iTunes Servers via the iTunes app that contains your iTunes Library info, which then allows your account to access your content for streaming on the go on an iDevice when you’re logged in to your iTunes account.



    You are likely already sending all the info they need when you send them your iTunes Genius updates.



    I'm not sure it'll work like that. I have a lot in my iTunes library that the iTunes Store doesn't offer at all, as I'm sure others do too.



    The way I understand it, once we sync our iTunes libraries to the cloud, that media resides on both our HDDs and in the cloud. I presume for MobileMe members with larger libraries, Apple would charge for the extra storage space needed (if, that is, the members choose to upload their massive libraries to the cloud at all).



    Personally, I don't quite understand Apple's thinking on this. For "insurance", I have a Time Capsule that's backed up my entire media library already.



    With between 2GB and 160GB iDevices available (and larger ones on the way probably), we can already have more media in our pockets than we can realistically listen to or watch in a day, or even before the iDevice's battery dies. So who is this service aimed at?



    And wasn't there an app at one time that let you stream music from your iTunes library directly to your iDevice without having to pass through the cloud at all? I remember doing that with my original iPhone (not jailbroken) a few years ago, but the battery drain was crazy. Plus, it was too easy to just load up the iPhone with more music than I needed anyway.



    Really, I'm not getting their push for this.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Quote:

    Following the collapse of CD sales, digital downloads are said to be slowing as well, leaving the labels increasingly worried about the business prospects of prerecorded music going forward.



    Gee.... Increasing the price of a song from 99¢ to $1.29 might have something to do with it. That's a 30% increase and psychological barrier of a song that costs pennies to one that is almost a dollar and a half will do little to prevent people from simply downloading for free (stealing) somewhere else.



    To further add insult to injury, the promised 69¢ songs are nowhere to be found. It was promised that while major hits would go to $1.29, most library songs would cost 99¢ and 69¢. I see the occasional 99¢ song but most are the new higher price.



    The music industry old folks need to die off and a new generation of record labels embracing new ideas needs to emerge.



    Selling more 99¢ songs is better than selling less $1.29 songs. The greedy ol' folks need to be replaced.



    Apple is offering something that would bring a lot of buyers back. I'll gladly pay for my music on iTunes again if it means that I can access it via MobileMe on any device.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    There are two probable ways this will work



    1. You can only stream what you've bought from iTunes. The info for which is in your account history already.



    2. Exactly the same as LaLa did. You use some kind of tool to upload your library list. The system compares that list to the system collection and uploads only what it doesn't find in the collection for your private use.



    Hopefully they will also have the 10 cent or similarly cheap priced streaming only copies. And maybe even the mix it up sampling and one time full play from LaLa at some point also
  • Reply 14 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    The original FT article had little meat.



    Fair enough, but given that the title feels a bit link bait-y.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    I don't see any benefit of music being stored in the cloud. Think about the case when you're listening to songs in a bus and your are being forced to go offline for a while because the bus has to go through the tunnel.



    Plus if you really have lot's of music, you can just get the classic iPod. It's probably cheaper in the long run than paying subscription online just to access the songs you already have.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post


    is AI serious? What sort of market force is Spotify? They're nothing. If all of a sudden EMI's content was denied access to iTunes, I'd say that would have a material impact on EMI's valuation since iTunes is the worlds biggest music retailer. A deal with Spotify, though? Come on!



    Spotify isn't available where you live, is it?

    If you were living in Sweden, Norway, the UK etc where it is available you would have seen how fast Spotify has dramatically changed people's music habits and attitude towards buying music. Music has turned into a free service here, and people expect it to be free now. It's very worrisome and an extremely bad deal for artists in terms if revenue.

    In terms of money, the best deal for an artist is to get played on the radio. The worst deal is to get played on Spotify. The Spotify model works for big labels with thousands of artists where all the bits and pieces become a somewhat decent total. And this too is worrisome. If the BIG labels like this model, they will go for it regardless of it being a bad deal for the individual artists or not.

    In terms of availability though, Spotify is a great deal for individual artists.



    I think Apple is feeling the pressure and competition, and is worried that free music will win over paid music. They have to change and evolve in order to meet this competition. Things can change very quickly, as it has over here.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    The original FT article had little meat.



    Are you admitting that your source was the FT, and you did not cite the source prominently.



    I notice that in many Apple Insider articles. MacDaily News and Daring Fireball always cite the original source.



    CGC
  • Reply 18 of 39
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPedro View Post


    Gee.... Increasing the price of a song from 99¢ to $1.29 might have something to do with it. That's a 30% increase and psychological barrier of a song that costs pennies to one that is almost a dollar and a half will do little to prevent people from simply downloading for free (stealing) somewhere else.



    To further add insult to injury, the promised 69¢ songs are nowhere to be found. It was promised that while major hits would go to $1.29, most library songs would cost 99¢ and 69¢. I see the occasional 99¢ song but most are the new higher price.



    The music industry old folks need to die off and a new generation of record labels embracing new ideas needs to emerge.



    Selling more 99¢ songs is better than selling less $1.29 songs. The greedy ol' folks need to be replaced.



    Apple is offering something that would bring a lot of buyers back. I'll gladly pay for my music on iTunes again if it means that I can access it via MobileMe on any device.



    It's 30 cents! If you can afford to buy a Mac or iDevice, how can you be complaining about 30 cents more for something that you can keep forever? You pay more than that for the Starbucks coffee that you piss out at the end of the day
  • Reply 19 of 39
    I dont think its a matter of outright costs, more psychological marketing - people will tend to buy three things for £/$5, but will think twice about buying 2 for £/$7.00. AngryBirds is a case in point, they sell millions of copies for 0.59p, if it was 1.59 then it would have sold a lot less.



    Apologies for currency translation issues.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    There are two probable ways this will work



    1. You can only stream what you've bought from iTunes. The info for which is in your account history already.



    2. Exactly the same as LaLa did. You use some kind of tool to upload your library list. The system compares that list to the system collection and uploads only what it doesn't find in the collection for your private use.



    Hopefully they will also have the 10 cent or similarly cheap priced streaming only copies. And maybe even the mix it up sampling and one time full play from LaLa at some point also



    Your option #1 will not work. I have a lot of songs which have been 'pulled' from iTunes, or at least the store. Also, I've been buying on iTunes for 5 or 6 years. Apple has lost track of what I've purchased a couple of times, probably when they overhauled it. I have a lot of 128 songs I can't upgrade because either the iTunes store doesn't carry the song/artist anymore, or they lost the fact that I already purchased it.



    anyway, my 2 cents.
Sign In or Register to comment.