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Apple Threatens to Close iTunes Store Over Possible Royalty Hikes

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According to Fortune, the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington D.C. is expected to rule on Thursday about a request by the National Music Publishers' Association to increase royalty rates for downloads from online music stores such as iTunes. The request asks for an increase in rates from 9 cents to 15 cents a track. It should be noted that this group represents the copyright holders of songs and is distinct from the record companies themselves.

Understandably, Apple is opposed to the rate increase and, in a statement submitted to the board, even suggested that Apple might close iTunes altogether:
"If the [iTunes music store] was forced to absorb any increase in the ... royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all," Cue wrote. "Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably."
Apple claims that the market would not accept an increase in the per-track price and that overall sales would decrease. The Fortune article writer doubts that Apple would take such drastic measures as closing the iTunes Store as Apple has used it to leverage hardware sales of iPods and now iPhones.

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NewMacbookPlz

macrumors 68040
Sep 28, 2008
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One side of me would be quite saddened by this, as the iTMS is a great way to get music legally.

On the other hand though, this would give the RIAA/NMPA a massive kick in the coinpouch and they would be forced to reform their ways.
 
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Trajectory

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2005
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Earth
I highly doubt Apple will close the iTunes store, as it would directly affect sales of their most popular consumer product: the iPod.

Apple will just do what every other business does: raise the prices and get customers to pay the cost increases.
 
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notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
I would gladly pay more than $0.99 per song if I knew that the artists were getting more. But I don't particularly care to pad the pockets of record companies and other music industry execs any further.
 
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Klaxons2012

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2007
225
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This band of thugs needs to look at NBC, the last company that took their toys and left the iTMS.

*looks at Season Pass of The Office*

I rest my case.
 
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Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,643
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If Apple closed iTunes I'd like to see how many users would switch to Amazon for their music. And this wouldn't just impact Apple, but the other stores… curious to see how much it would affect their profits.
 
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Greydog

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2004
43
0
Cool...

I look forward to the return of LPs and 8-tracks so the greedy record companies can stuff their pockets again. That's progress.

But don't worry, Napster will embrace it, raise rates top $3/track all so they can reclaim their bragging rights.

And just how will this curb piracy??
 
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k2spitfire88

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2008
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in your mind
I would gladly pay more than $0.99 per song if I knew that the artists were getting more. But I don't particularly care to pad the pockets of record companies and other music industry execs any further.

i agree with that!
But I would be really sad if they closed the store. I love using it!
 
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brn2ski00

macrumors 68020
Aug 16, 2007
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MA
Good for Apple standing up for themselves.... My gut instinct is that the Store will not close, but you never know :confused:
 
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swarmster

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Jun 1, 2004
625
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I would gladly pay more than $0.99 per song if I knew that the artists were getting more. But I don't particularly care to pad the pockets of record companies and other music industry execs any further.

Reading between the lines of the Apple quote, I think they're looking for the artist association to first tell the record labels they're going to be getting less per song before they ask Apple to absorb the full hike.
 
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motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,177
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Sounds like a bluff to me.

1) The iTunes store is way too integral to Apple's future plans. Even if the iTunes store did run at a minor loss, Apple would still think it's really important to their business plan to keep the store opened.

2) An extra 6 cents is the difference here? Apple could just pass that along to their song prices and retain the whole business they've created with the iTunes store.
 
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busterbluth

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2008
309
1
I would gladly pay more than $0.99 per song if I knew that the artists were getting more. But I don't particularly care to pad the pockets of record companies and other music industry execs any further.

who cares about artists?
 
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229dan229

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2008
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remember this is not just targeting itunes, it will be to everyone else too. So they would all have to put prices up, surely?
 
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IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
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Reading between the lines of the Apple quote, I think they're looking for the artist association to first tell the record labels they're going to be getting less per song before they ask Apple to absorb the full hike.

Something like that, I suspect. They're saying it won't (or can't) come out of the retailer's margins, which we would not expect anyway.
 
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