Apple Pushing Record Labels for More Exclusive Beyonce-Like iTunes Albums

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's iTunes chief Robert Kondrk met with record label executives during Grammy Week in January about the potential of more exclusive album releases, like Beyoncé's iTunes-exclusive album last December, according to Billboard.

    While digital music track sales fell from 1.34 billion units to 1.24 billion units in 2013 due to the rise of streaming services like Spotify and YouTube, Beyoncé's album sold 1 million copies globally in a week iTunes alone.

    Kondrk is using the album's success to sell label executives on the prospect of exclusively releasing albums on digital storefronts like iTunes. He told executives the exclusives don't have to be limited to iTunes as long as they weren't on streaming services like Spotify. The move would be to preserve sales on digital storefronts.

    Finally, Kondrk asked executives if they could lock down individual track sales until after a certain window of time, which would then allow users to purchase individual music tracks and listen to albums on streaming services. This is in stark contrast to Steve Jobs' sell of unbundled legal access to music when the iTunes Music Store was introduced in 2003.

    In January, it was reported that digital music sales declined year-over-year for the first time since the opening of the iTunes Music Store as more users opt for streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and iTunes Radio.

    Article Link: Apple Pushing Record Labels for More Exclusive Beyonce-Like iTunes Albums
  2. jonyive4 macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2013
    We should push iTunes to be more like Spotify/Netflix.
  3. GregAndonian macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2010
    I know a lot of people use iTunes and like it a lot, but I really don't like the idea of exclusives like this, even if I do have an iPad now. I don't like the idea of one company having so much control over something like music.
  4. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    iTunes feels like more of a dinosaur than AOL did by the early 2000s. AOL at least tried to keep up with the times for a while.

    Apple's problem with services is rooted in the way they approach products in general. It takes Apple an enormous amount of time and resources to come out with a product. When they finally come out with it, it's well-polished. But it never really changes after that. Apple lets the product waste away, and eventually it's supplanted by something else. With iTunes you can see that Apple has tried to make updates, but those updates have turned iTunes into a mess, and the core iTunes Store experience hasn't changed. I would say it's gotten worse. Searching is incredibly unwieldy across apps, books, and music, and can't compete with the convenience of streaming unlimited content. Apple has never gotten Internet services. They've shuttered all the online services they've ever created except for iTunes. They didn't improve .Mac; they shut it down. They didn't improve MobileMe; they shut it down. They had to send out OS update discs just to get people to migrate their e-mail to iCloud. Who else has an e-mail service that is reliant on a particular OS?

    It seems like iTunes is a chore to them and has been barely kept alive in order to remain compatible with all the devices they sell. If Windows is Microsoft's legacy product it has to maintain for past compatibility, Apple's equivalent is iTunes. But the original iTunes and original iTunes Store were both amazing. It just seems that Apple can't do things well until they scrap something and start over.
  5. AngerDanger, Feb 28, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    AngerDanger macrumors 68030


    Dec 9, 2008
    It'd be interesting if they tried something similar with app developers…

  6. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2007
    I don't like the idea of one company having so much control over anything. Monopolies hurt the consumer.
  7. wikiverse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    'Like no other' is a trademark of the Sony corporation.

    Anyway, iTunes is horrible. I have deleted it off every mac I own and avoided purchasing an iPhone until it could be used independently of iTunes.

    Also, if I were a label exec, I would give them exclusives but I would expect a higher percentage of profits and an upfront exclusivity fee and a minimum amount of marketing penetration from apple. Exclusivity deals lock a label into only one revenue stream for their content, so the deal must be more financially rewarding than selling the music to every other platform.
  8. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
    You mean a monopoly for 7 days? That's how long Beyonce's album was exclusive to iTunes.

    You mean like the exclusivity ATT had on the iPhone for years? Exclusivity brings in money short term, then you open yourselves up to other platforms to gain money long term. Pretty sure Apple knows what it's doing here.
  9. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Never is an exaggeration. Apple has done well from time to time. The iTunes store when it first launched a great way of finding and buying music online, especially compared to what preceded it. The Apple website is very well organized. The App store, when viewed from an iOS device, is quite good. The iCloud apps are also pretty good. I wish Apple would let me sync arbitrary files and let me organize by folder, but that's my only real gripe with iCloud (oh, I also dislike the inane amounts of data iOS tries to automatically backup to the iCloud.)
  10. Lazy macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    .Mac turned into MobileMe which turned into iCloud, so completely wrong about those being shut down. Now if there's a point to make it's that they got bad enough to need rebranding twice.

    I'm too lazy to identify specifics in your other exaggerations, but you've also got a point about iTunes.
  11. Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    Of course they are
  12. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2008
    Surrey, BC
    You have quite a good point, at first glance.
    Only, when I look at all their existing product lines, there's a pretty solid argument that they're all currently at the top of their field. Macbook Air, iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 5S. There's been nothing revolutionary about them since they were released, no. But you cannot say Apple is "not doing things well" as you have.
    The only argument you might have is that Apple started 3 years ahead of the game (as Jobs boasted in 2007) and companies like Samsung and Google have very nearly caught them. So they have slowed in innovation maybe. But they're still at least on top of the game, if not ahead of it.
    Internet services from Apple has never been amazing. It's only ever been adequate, which is a shame considering it's been rebooted a number of times!
    They only thing that works with your argument is iTunes. But many many people have made that argument for years now. iTunes is bloated. It's nothing new
  13. SeaFox macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2003
    Somewhere Else
    It would help a lot if Apple would drop the iTunes-required storefront and allow people to buy/download tracks through any web browser like Amazon. With iTunes Plus being DRM-free and AppleID's now universal across all Apple service/websites there is zero reason to require people use Apple's iTunes software to access the store. This would also open up the store to potential customers who use Linux-based OSes.
  14. vomhorizon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    Isn't this essentially what record labels do? iTunes is available on all iOS which is a huge huge club..iTunes is also available on PC and MAC and apple TV. This is exactly the same thing as HBO having a mini series for their own customers but iTunes is accessible to many many times more audience.
  15. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    "We"? Who is we? People who don't want to pay for music? Because most music artists are suffering under this Spotify era. You think Beyonce did her iTunes exclusive just to be different? I just talked to the singer of a mid-level indie band today who is planning to do exactly what Apple wants with their next album. Not because of pressure from Apple, but because since they started releasing their albums on Spotify the same day as digital stores their album revenue has dropped tenfold. Their next album will have a period of exclusivity on digital stores before going to Spotify.
  16. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Apple should ready the heavy artillery, and start signing artists themselves and revolutionize that horrible wildly unethical side of the business FOR the artists.

    The rate at which these crappy pop acts fade out, it won't be more than a few years before Apple would have all the artists, and the miserable labels would vaporize.

    Do it for the lulz Apple. Violent revolutions are fun.
  17. eagles2214 macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Kid Cudi just dropped an "iTunes Exclusive Album" and it has been number 1 on iTunes all week (it's really an amazing listen so check it out!). I really think artist can benefit from indusrty album leaks this way.
  18. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Beyonce-like ??

    what about other non-Beyonce like stuff too ?
  19. Nevaborn macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2013
    I will always buy over streaming. If Apple get 7 day exclusives then good for them. About time Apple joined the exclusivity game, it sucks but as every other company does it Apple and it's customers have been losing out
  20. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    I doubt a mid-level indie band is going to enjoy a whole lot of success with purchase only exclusives. Beyonce succeeded with it because she's Beyonce. Lesser known artists are not going to sell blind to anything more than the loyal fans who probably would buy their music anyway to support them.

    Most bands realise that if they want to make money today in the industry then it comes from merchandising and putting on live shows. The recorded music is a promotional vehicle for the live events that allow them to make a living doing what they love.

    You can't turn the subscription model tap off and expect everyone to go back to paying for all your music. Those days are long gone. You'll just go back to competing against piracy all over again. And if the music fans wants starts dropping off subscription services, those subscriptions get cancelled and replaced with... illegal downloads.

    iTunes Exclusives can work well in some limited form for the mega artists like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, etc. But for everyone else, take your dimes from Spotify and get on the road.
  21. sshambles macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2005
    I don't speak for many, a huge music lover and I own a lot of vinyl. I love the fact I can OWN music. Subscription based music only interests me in the way of finding new music, but I won't subscribe to it, so iTunes Radio has helped keep up with others.

    Exclusivity is fine by me. People will acquire it however they want anyways. :apple:
  22. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    Exclusivity just increases piracy especially when it comes to music.
  23. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    The exclusive content doesn't stay exclusive for more than a few weeks. It's not the end of the world.

    That Beyonce thing.... Apple's iTunes exclusive debut was for a mere week or two. After that, I believe even WalMart started selling the same damn thing to the WalMartian proles.
  24. OneBagTravel macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2013
    [hipster alert] I've switched over to physical vinyl lately and I don't see myself going back to iTunes :eek:[/hipster alert]
  25. Scottyltd macrumors member


    May 3, 2013
    Thant's why I hate Ticketmaster.

    But in Apples case it could be worse.

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