Apple efforts to end free streaming music on Spotify, YouTube spur DOJ inquiry - report

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015
As it prepares to launch a new streaming music service, Apple is said to be pressuring music labels to force rivals like Spotify to abandon their free tiers -- something that has apparently brought scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice.




Citing multiple sources, The Verge claimed that Department of Justice officials have already interviewed music industry executives about Apple's business practices. In particular, concerns have been raised about Apple using its influence to persuade labels not to renew licenses with Spotify that allow that company to stream music for free. Additionally, Apple allegedly offered to pay YouTube's music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the latter pulled its songs from YouTube.

"All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

Discouraging free alternatives could help Apple's upcoming service, but those actions could potentially be deemed anti-competitive by the Department of Justice. Early last month, reports surfaced that Apple may already be facing a probe from the European Commission regarding the same issue.

Past reports have indicated that Apple is hoping to score artist exclusives for its new service, and until recently was trying to push for a monthly subscription fee under the industry-standard $10. Record labels appear to have balked, likely worried that increased subscription numbers wouldn't compensate for missing per-subscription revenue.

Apple could make an announcement as soon as the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8. Little else is known about what the service might look like, except that it's expected to take on the iTunes name, and mark Apple's first major push into the world of on-demand streaming, which has been slowly eating into the marketshare of the iTunes Store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,909member
    Must be a false rumor. I can't see Apple doing this so soon after the Bromwich thing... Unless the Beats guys are acting outside of Apple's control. .
  • Reply 2 of 47
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    So this is what Google's lobbying dollars are going to these days. Because Amazon does't really have much of a stick in the fire here.

    And the labels want to drop the free options more than anything else.
  • Reply 3 of 47

    It would be nice if the DOJ was as interested in the shenanigans in the banking/financial world as they are in ebook prices and streaming music.

  • Reply 4 of 47
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member

    Let's all just take a moment to reflect on the source for this information being The Verge.

     

    The Verge has little to zero journalistic prowess or integrity, their entire website is a wasteland of slightly reworded press releases, articles clearly written by tech PR companies or "reviews" which spend a lot of time talking about their advertiser's offerings.

     

    I put it forth that The Verge has no sources, is working entirely on gossip and is click baiting with fiction..again.

     

    The article is also seemingly ignorant to the fact that there is a DOJ antitrust representative on site at Apple's HQ.

  • Reply 5 of 47
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,084member
    Must be a false rumor. I can't see Apple doing this so soon after the Bromwich thing... Unless the Beats guys are acting outside of Apple's control. .

    Actually, I can see Apple attempting to do this. Ending free streaming cuts off ad-supported revenue and more importantly customer data mining.

    AFAIK, Apple does not mine customer data for money as YuoTube does. Preventing this aids Apple by making the playing field more level.

    With the DOJ involved, Apple will be found guilty for attempting to increase prices. Google will be found innocent of capturing and reselling customer data because it is offering a free service.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ecats wrote: »
    Let's all just take a moment to reflect on the source for this information being The Verge.

    The Verge has little to zero journalistic prowess or integrity, their entire website is a wasteland of slightly reworded press releases, articles clearly written by tech PR companies or "reviews" which spend a lot of time talking about their advertiser's offerings.

    I put it forth that The Verge has no sources, is working entirely on gossip and is click baiting with fiction..again.

    The article is also seemingly ignorant to the fact that there is a DOJ antitrust representative on site at Apple's HQ.

    Yes, just who are the Verge's sources? I'm skeptical that Apple would do anything that could potentially get them in hot water with the DOJ right now.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,084member
    ecats wrote: »
    Let's all just take a moment to reflect on the source for this information being The Verge.

    The Verge has little to zero journalistic prowess or integrity, their entire website is a wasteland of slightly reworded press releases, articles clearly written by tech PR companies or "reviews" which spend a lot of time talking about their advertiser's offerings.

    I put it forth that The Verge has no sources, is working entirely on gossip and is click baiting with fiction..again.

    The article is also seemingly ignorant to the fact that there is a DOJ antitrust representative on site at Apple's HQ.

    I thought of Bromwich but remembered he recently field a report stating a breakdown in cooperation from Apple. Also he is supposed to be focused on eBooks... Hmmm... And, improving Apple's antitrust ethics. Oh boy!
  • Reply 8 of 47
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,915member

    It's ironic that the DOJ continues to pick on Apple on everything they do. "Discussions" like the one purported to being taken between Apple and the labels is business as usual in just about every other line of business. The oil/gas company does it all the time. Doctors and insurance companies buy off each other as well. Let's not even get started with the unethical things Amazon and Google do all the time. Apple doesn't sell user's information, they encrypt as much data as possible, and almost all users love them. That's what the DOJ is upset with. It's all a matter of jealousy because the government want's information on everyone, want's all user information unencrypted, and wants people to love them. Sorry, Charlie, we don't want you looking at our data and we're sick and tired of all your blatant one-side attempts at shutting Apple down.

  • Reply 9 of 47
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post



    Google will be found innocent of capturing and reselling customer data because it is offering a free service.

     

    That, and because they don't sell customer data.

  • Reply 10 of 47
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Apple and others should really be going hard at YouTube for allowing users to upload artist's music.

    Now THAT is really hurting labels. YouTube is the new Napster.

    As far as a "free tier" is that even paying the artists? And if removed will losers just create a new LimeWire?

    I find it funny the DOJ is worried about "anti-competitive" practices but isn't doing SH** about the millions of people stealing music, movies, software etc.

    Stealing digital goods doesn't even feel like a crime. It's accessible and there's no punishment.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    solipsismzsolipsismz Posts: 22member
    Must be a false rumor. I can't see Apple doing this so soon after the Bromwich thing... Unless the Beats guys are acting outside of Apple's control. .

    Yes of course. Classic commentary.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    They should take on the Beats name, not iTunes.

    Beats has better brand equity at this point.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    alcstarheelalcstarheel Posts: 554member
    "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

    Steve is smiling in his grave.
    So this is what Google's lobbying dollars are going to these days. Because Amazon does't really have much of a stick in the fire here.

    And the labels want to drop the free options more than anything else.

    I see what you did there.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    cali wrote: »
    Apple and others should really be going hard at YouTube for allowing users to upload artist's music.

    Now THAT is really hurting labels. YouTube is the new Napster.

    As far as a "free tier" is that even paying the artists? And if removed will losers just create a new LimeWire?

    I find it funny the DOJ is worried about "anti-competitive" practices but isn't doing SH** about the millions of people stealing music, movies, software etc.

    Stealing digital goods doesn't even feel like a crime. It's accessible and there's no punishment.
    Google has been paying the music rights holder for YouTube plays for quite some time. In fact they purchased a company for that express purpose back in 2012, Rightsflow. Google announced over a $B paid out to music rights holders early last year, which may have only started with the Rightflow purchase tho that's only a guess.
    http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/5893900/youtube-has-paid-out-1-billion-to-music-industry-in

    In addition they try to block before it posts or failing that remove unauthorized content as they become aware of it. Search up "YouTube Content ID"

    You're not the only only to buy into some of the FUD about Google but with all the very smart folks here I'm always surprised at how little effort seems to go into checking claims before they post 'em as fact. There's very legitimate concerns and issues surrounding Google without folks resorting to making stuff up to accuse them of.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/07/youtubes-copyright-system-has-taken-rand-pauls-presidential-announcement-offline/

    Now as regards the subject of the thread this would be at least the second report of a government agency investigating Apple over reported pressures on the labels to negatively impact potential competition for Apple's upcoming music streaming service. While there's no assurance that the Verge has the facts right it would make sense for the DoJ to be looking into it too if the EU has already started the process.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    That, and because they don't sell customer data.

    Right....well, at least you got Mountain View to like that post.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Right....well, at least you got Mountain View to like that post.

     

    Google scans and reads everything, but I'd need a citation of any of that data being sold out of Google. Maybe there's a link where I can buy some data?

     

    For Google to invest so heavily in collecting and analyzing personal information on a continuous basis, it would make no sense for them to sell any of it directly. Much better to continue collecting and enhance user profiles internally, then leverage those profiles to get people to click on ads that they have sold. If they maintain a competitive advantage on click-through, then their ad margins are going to be higher. If they sell the data, then buyers could maintain their own profiles, and compete without as much overhead.

  • Reply 17 of 47
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    Google scans and reads everything, but I'd need a citation of any of that data being sold out of Google. Maybe there's a link where I can buy some data?d.
    I don't think he's disputing your post as being factual. Sometimes all that's left is "shoot the messenger". ;)
  • Reply 18 of 47
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,505member
    That face, those hair, that necklace... just bad.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,038member

    "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

     

    This anonymous source sounds legit!

     

    Thanks Verge. I was scared we would not have an Apple hit-piece today. 

  • Reply 20 of 47
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

    "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

     

    This anonymous source sounds legit!

     

    Thanks Verge. I was scared we would not have an Apple hit-piece today. 




    The Vox Empire of Slime will always oblige with a hitpiece on anyone except Microsoft or Googs.

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