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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,405
17,761


Starting in April 2007 there were rumors from MediaTakeOut that rapper Jay-Z was leaving the Def Jam Recordings record label to create a new "super label" with singer Beyonce.
In an exclusive interview, MediaTakeOut.com spoke to a key person involved in creating the new label. And according to that insider, the new label will launch early next year. Tells our insider, "It's a done deal. [Jay Z] already has Beyonce and [Mathew Knowles] on board ... She'll be finishing up her contract [with Sony], and I expect that she'll sign on to the new label shortly afterwards."
Jay-Z is a popular rapper and current president and CEO of Def Jam -- a record label owned by Universal Music.

At the time, Jay-Z was reportedly shopping this new "super label" around with the major record labels "and to Apple - who [was] very interested in doing business".

Now, Moli.com is claiming that "an inside industry source" says that its a done deal.
[Jay-Z and Beyonce] will move to Apple to run a new music division. It sounds rather incredible: [Jay-Z's] already got a pretty good job, running Def Jam, and [Steve] Jobs may be too smart to get into the tanking recording business (as others have said). Of course, if it is true, my guess is this would be a new, revamped record biz, one based on digital distribution, not boring old physical products.

Coincidentally, Universal Music recently let their long term contract lapse with Apple for iTunes music distribution and have gone on a short term "at will" distribution deal.

The reliability of these sites is unknown, but published for interest as well as due to the existance of a historical rumor trail.


Article Link
 

Raffles

macrumors member
May 30, 2007
36
0
USA
begins to burst out in laughter and disbelief.

Seriously, people, how could you believe this? MR should'nt've even posted then.
 

kymac

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2006
677
0
portland
yea.. but theyre really popular.. so making a deal with them would be smart of apple.. because its already known that beyonce and jay z have a large fanbase that is willing to purchase their products. so just because their music isnt appealing to you, doesnt mean its a bad move on apples part.
 

MidiMonk

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2007
140
0
Don't mind either artist, but if this were true Apple is proving why there are so many issues lately.No focus on computing, just media/gadget ventures:(
 

Yixian

macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2007
1,480
135
Europe
I'd rather see Apple in movies or games but it'd be good to see them branch out with a music label. This sort of thing would bring them better access to resources, and financially stabalise them even further so they can continue to try far out products.

But Jay-Z? Man, Def Jam is an institution, with an organic history. If Jay-Z were to leave it I'd rather him create something fresh, raw and true to hip hop.

But I guess now we have Blacksmith.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Don't mind either artist, but if this were true Apple is proving why there are so many issues lately.No focus on computing, just media/gadget ventures:(

No focus at all, only non-computing stuff! Although... I heard they have a new Mac OS "Leopard" of some kind... and moved their whole computer line to new chips... and just came out with new LED laptops... and are expected to have more new Macs soon...

I'm not sure, though :)
 

ogun7

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2001
187
57
This would definitely hurt their relationship with other labels in the iTMS, but also explain why Universal started crying and ran home with their toys (music). Since Jay is (or was?) distributed by Universal, this definitely has to be a coup. Jay was already complaining last year about declining sales and many in the Hip-Hop community railed against him on how certain eagerly anticipated albums (Nas - Hip-Hop Is Dead) were pushed back for more commercial releases (Jay-Z - Kingdom Come). This digital label would solve most of that.
 

bluebomberman

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2005
919
0
Queens, NYC
I don't see why Apple would even want to think about having their own music label. And even if they want in on the action, doing so with Jay-Z -- a guy that gloats about his expensive lifestyle -- won't do much to change the image of the big labels as soulless corporate entities that exploit and steal from artists.

If Apple goes through with this, they're going to start looking a lot like Sony.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,286
5,533
disregarding whether you believe its true or not... would it really surprise people?

What better way to promote iTunes (and therefore iPod, iPhone) then digital only distribution of popular artists.

Now, it may piss off the record labels (which it may have pissed of Universal already), but do they have a choice but to distribute on iTunes?

And as for choice of artists... it makes sense to have young-demographic users. translation: people who are far more likely to be online.

arn
 

diotima1212

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2004
6
0
I don't get why people would rate this "negative". As we just saw with Universal, big Record Labels are not fit for the digital age, and they don't care for the experience of their consumers. To bypass them and offer a deal directly by Apple seems not only what many artists would wish, but rather necessary to get some independence of those dying behemoths.

By the way, FSJ hinted something like this lately, so it must be true....
 

LoganT

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,381
132
It's the Apple in the building!

jayshoweminsertcopycq7.jpg
 

rob@robburns.co

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2007
162
0
Universal and DRM

The strange thing is that Universal is trying to play hard-ball with Apple, when Apple is the only large music retailer selling music with DRM. Its like they want to shoot themselves in the foot. CD sales would be declining even faster than the already are if they playing field was equalized with respect to DRM (i.e., Apple has to include it while WaMart, Target and Best Buy do not).

As for Def Jam records, I wonder if more and more of these subsidiaries are going to think: "What do I need Universal for?" I could see this just opening the flood gates.
 

ogun7

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2001
187
57
I'd rather see Apple in movies or games but it'd be good to see them branch out with a music label. This sort of thing would bring them better access to resources, and financially stabalise them even further so they can continue to try far out products.

But Jay-Z? Man, Def Jam is an institution, with an organic history. If Jay-Z were to leave it I'd rather him create something fresh, raw and true to hip hop.

But I guess now we have Blacksmith.

A new label with a former computer company that makes most of the tools that the artists of your genre and generation use to create and listen to music and that would digitally distribute your wares all over the world is fresh, raw and true to Hip-Hop!

I'm originally from the Bronx and Hip-Hop is about taking all these global cultural influences and forging into new mediums that democratically provide access to art and making art. We didn't have instruments and took our mouths and record players and made music. No paintbrushes or canvas and made all of NYC (and then the world) our art studio. This is just acknowledgment for the marketing force that Hip-Hop is.

By the way, what is Blacksmith?
 

Squareball

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2004
167
1
Palo Alto, CA
I think that this is an interesting idea. Apple knows a couple of things that the large media companies don't. One of them is that the future of media is digital. From movies to TV shows to music, all of these will be delivered digitally and on demand. iTunes has proven that people want to buy music online. So what's next? Helping people discover new music to further drive sales.

The idea is simple. Apple takes control of the content and sells it and GIVES SOME AWAY FREE to users of iTunes. People on iTunes can jump on every day and see what's new, get free tracks, buy exclusive new tracks and find new bands that are in the same genre as the bands they like.

The difference between an apple label and say BMG is that Apple can cut out the radio stations, MTV, etc and promote their bands through iTunes and any other way they see fit. They have a user base. They don't need MTV or corporate radio which are both failing markets now. Neither of those mediums are about new music anymore. They churn out the same crap every year and people are tired of it. MTV doesn't even play music videos very much anymore. It's a joke. The reason is that people just jump on YouTube now to watch videos, they don't need to watch MTV for 2 hours waiting for that new hot video to come on.

In a short attention span world, Apple can kick the asses of the big studios because they can keep costs low and promote in many ways online.

Just a thought. I don't know about this rumor however but I do think that it at least makes sense on the surface.
 

ogun7

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2001
187
57
It's funny. The record labels hate that their retail channels are controlled by just a few companies: Walmart, Apple and the like, but want to limit access to music at the same time.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,267
85
I realize that Apple Inc and Apple Corps settled, but given that settlement would Apple Inc actually be allowed to become/start a record label themselves?
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,286
5,533
I realize that Apple Inc and Apple Corps settled, but given that settlement would Apple Inc actually be allowed to become/start a record label themselves?

It would seem so
http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/02/05apple.html

Under this new agreement, Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use.

Seems the trademark is 100% Apple (Computer)'s to use.

arn
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,495
5,490
Denmark
Phew... This is gonna have a huge impact on the industry if it goes through... And I certainly believe Apple is gonna make more enemies..
 

bluebomberman

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2005
919
0
Queens, NYC
Question: Won't this bring up anti-trust issues?

Another question: Isn't this selling out?

The big labels obviously will be disgusted, but I can also see a lot of indie labels and indie artists being very unhappy that one of their best outlets for reaching their fans is going the way of The Man. How can they compete against a Jay-Z fronted Apple music label for front page space on the iTunes store?
 
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