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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple has been leveraging its power within the music industry in an attempt to push music labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other streaming music services, according to The Verge. The company has also reportedly offered to pay YouTube's music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stops allowing its songs on the website, a popular destination for music videos.


The report claims that U.S. Department of Justice officials are looking into Apple's business practices in relation to its upcoming streaming music service, expected to be a rebranded version of Beats Music that will debut at WWDC next month. "DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple's business habits," the report claims.

Apple's much-rumored Beats streaming service would naturally be a more competitive alternative over two of its biggest rivals in Spotify and YouTube if it successfully convinces music labels to force streaming services to ditch their freemium tiers. Apple's service is expected to have lots of exclusive content, and only about one-quarter of Spotify's 60 million customers have paid subscriptions.

Apple faces a similar probe from the European Commission over concerns that it's persuading labels to abandon free, ad-supported services such as Spotify in Europe as well. Apple's own Beats streaming service will reportedly not offer a free tier, requiring customers to pay a recurring fee of around $9.99 per month, similar to paid tiers offered by Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music.

Apple's Beats-based streaming music service will reportedly be deeply integrated into iTunes on Mac and the stock Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android. Last month, the company seeded iOS 8.4 beta to developers with a redesigned Music app featuring a new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for "Now Playing," global search capabilities, a streamlined design and more.

Article Link: Apple Urging Music Labels to Stop Licensing Free Songs on Spotify and YouTube


macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2013
Los Angeles, USA
i call bs on this report. this is not something apple will ever do. they will compete with a superior product and service as they always do. if spotify is free or not it won't help them apple will win this war.


macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
Raleigh, NC
On the surface, this sounds like a really crappy thing for Apple to do. Maybe people are happy with Spotify, Rdio, etc. and don't want your damn Beats service.


macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
Apple tried to get the paid music service down to $7.99 - music labels resisted, fearing loss of profits, right?

With this in mind, the labels shouldn't need much convincing to stop giving music away for free (or for $0.001 per play, with ads).

Also, it annoys me that "music playing with phone locked" is a feature of YouTube's paid service. If music can be viewed on their site for free, why make it inconvenient for us?


macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
Call me old fashioned, but I would rather just own my music.

Call me new fashioned, but I rather listen to unlimited music for half the price of an album with spotlight student pricing per month. $60 a year.


macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2003
Rochester, NY
The problem with all these race to the bottom pricing schemes is that it actually sets a perception in the mind of consumers that there is less value in the product. Young consumers have no idea how much effort and actual money goes into creating content (music, movies, TV, videos and video games) and all they see is that it costs them less than breath mints.

No idea if Apple is doing this or what is really happening in these spaces, but free everything everywhere just hides the costs. Obfuscation causes all sorts of problems and may get immediate returns through growth and sporadic surges of mass response, but in the long term it just makes everything more complicated.

It's a bit like setting your clocks 10 minutes ahead so you aren't late anymore. It works for a day or two, and then you just have one more thing to calculate and figure out every time you look at the clocks.


macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
Apple wants to stop free music video on youtube ? And also kill spotify?
Noooooo, f that.... I love apple but this is a dick move.


macrumors 68020
Jul 15, 2012
Provided this rumor is true and not a smear campaign by competitors, it would be a crappy thing for Apple to do.

But I see no reason why Apple would do this since they stand to make money either way since they have iAd.


macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2004
Hopefully this is false, it sounds something Microsoft would have done ten years ago at their peak. Apple should compete by making their own product superior, not by bullying its competitors.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2003
Call me cheap, but I'm not paying to stream music.

I listen to FM radio in my car without paying. I watched TV for years without paying.

Charging everyone for music is only going to encourage even more people to get their music from YouTube.


Oct 21, 2008
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Yes please stop... You must realise NO ONE wants free music, we must all pay and Apple MUST make its 30% cut on all that music you buy....:rolleyes:

So sad when a giant mega corporation demands to stop giving free things to people, greed at its ugliest IMO. This is of course Apple attempting to scew the market for its own personal gain with its own streaming service.

This is NOT BS, this is just Apples way of business.
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macrumors 68020
Sep 12, 2009
Disgusting that Apple is hindering its competitors, not by competing but by simply using its power as the biggest company in the world.


macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010

I've allready bankrupted myself buying all my music legally on iTunes and CD so sometimes I want to listen to songs on youtube for free :/


macrumors member
Sep 1, 2013
Call me old fashioned, but I would rather just own my music.

As a Spotify user for 6 years. It's more about the social factor. Sharing play lists with friends, subscribing to public play lists, listen to curated play lists and so on. I could never live with my own library of music.
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macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2010
They want to stop fermium music? What about iTunes Radio? In fact what about radio in general?

If you think that $0.001 per play per person is too little to pay for music, if you divide the total royalties paid by radio by the total amount of hours listened to the radio (that's number of people who listen to the radio x average hours they listen), then divide that by the average number of songs per hour, will you get much different than that? Don't forget that commercial radio stations also pay license fees and for on air personalities.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
Hopefully this is false, it sounds something Microsoft would have done ten years ago at their peak. Apple should compete by making their own product superior, not by bullying its competitors.
The reason why I no longer like Apple is that they're following the same strategies as Microsoft, or even worse. Ten years ago, you enjoyed maximum freedom when using Apple products. Now, when using Apple, you do what they want you to do, you update when they want you to update, you give them rights when they want to, you give them your data when they want... so, yes, they aren't more enjoyable than Microsoft anymore.


macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2014
The music industry is a complex issue right now, where services like Spotify barely payout their artists. Then again the internet has a tremendous influence on social culture, where the benefits of open sharing have become more commonplace.

While Apple’s idea seems a bit too conventional, persuading media industries to embrace subscription services seems the most logical step forward.

It's worked well for Adobe.


macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
Hmm...I wonder who the Verge's sources are and if they're credible. I'm skeptical that Apple would do something right now that they know could get them in hot water with the DOJ.
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