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Extended iTunes Store Song Samples Held Up Over Licensing Issues

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Just two days before Apple's media event last week, CNET reported that Apple was set to extend the length of song samples in the iTunes Store from 30 seconds to as much as 90 seconds, offering consumers greater opportunity to determine whether they were interested in purchasing the content. Despite the fact that the information seemed fairly solid, the change did not come to pass at the event.

CNET follows up today, explaining that deployment of the extended-length samples has been held up due to licensing issues.
"We are in active negotiations with Apple," about the length of song samples, said Hanna Pantle, a spokeswoman for Broadcast Music Inc., (BMI) one of the performing-rights organizations that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters and music publishers. She declined to provide any details.
The report claims that Apple has obtained the blessing of the four major record companies to extend samples to 90 seconds, while its existing contract with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) apparently does not impose any time limits on song samples, but even with all of that leverage behind it, Apple was still unable to roll out the enhancement at last week's event.
Leaders at the National Music Publishers Association, the largest trade trade group representing music publishers, informed Apple that it couldn't offer extended samples until reaching an agreement with them. But that's not the whole story. Some from the music sector say Apple simply tried to rush a deal through and misjudged its ability to get a deal done without agreements from all the necessary parties. Apple has made it clear that it doesn't want to pay to license song samples, insiders say, and even they acknowledge that Apple also wants to avoid the nightmare that other music services have gone through when trying to obtain licenses from untold numbers of rights holders.
According to the report, the National Music Publishers Association was tipped off to Apple's plan by CNET's original article and, on the advice of legal counsel, approached Apple on the day before the media event to express its view that extended song samples could not issued without discussions and licensing with the group.

The report notes that the discussions over extending the length of song samples may have broader implications as well, testing the waters for Apple's much-rumored ultimate goal of providing cloud-based streaming of users' iTunes libraries. In addition, Google is said to be closely watching the developments as it prepares to roll out its own music service later this year.

Article Link: Extended iTunes Store Song Samples Held Up Over Licensing Issues
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,888
31
Northern Virginia
Just don't get the music industry at times.... Maybe the industry feels that 90 seconds on a 3 minute song gives us consumers the power to see the crap they are putting out there?
 
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SaaGua

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2010
61
1
Just don't get the music industry at times.... Maybe the industry feels that 90 seconds on a 3 minute song gives us consumers the power to see the crap they are putting out there?

Nice one. =)

There are so many songs I've purchased that I wouldn't have, if I had heard more than 30 seconds...

Damn you apple commercials and those enticing songs!!! ;)
 
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jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,371
17
AR
Take that Apple

Yes, how horrible of Apple wanting to allow its customers to preview more than 30 seconds of a song. :rolleyes:

At some point, I wish Apple would just knock a few of each label's Top 25 artists (let's start with Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift) off the iTunes Store.

It might be an interesting experiment to see how long each artist's, songwriter's, composer's, musician's and label's "union" holds out until they're ready to negotiate consumer-friendly terms.
 
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devburke

Guest
Oct 16, 2008
1,190
0
Record labels never cease to amaze me with how much they just don’t get it.

They’re trying to sell your songs!!! Why would you want to get in the way of that??
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,179
2,469
Japan
I wonder if these 60-second or 90-second previews would be available for ALL songs in the store. There are lots of great punk rock tunes that clock at just under a minute.
 
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Andronicus

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2008
726
354
90 secs, you could hear a whole punk rock song for free. Even a whole punk rock album you would just have to push each individual track.
 
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bigcat318

macrumors 6502
Dec 25, 2007
347
56
Im sure everyone is raking in money from those obscure sub-minute punk rock songs.
 
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SlamJam12

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2010
220
0
Left Out

I was wondering why an additional 30-60 seconds was not added to music samples in iTunes. It's too bad record labels are insecure these days.
 
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saving107

macrumors 603
Oct 14, 2007
6,376
14
San Jose, Ca
According to the report, the National Music Publishers Association was tipped off to Apple's plan by CNET's original article and, on the advice of legal counsel, approached Apple on the day before the media event to express its view that extended song samples could not issued without discussions and licensing with the group.

Damn CNET.
 
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roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,910
2,268
NMPA - who's heard of them. Probably practically no one. Day before the event. Just trying to make a name for themselves. What a joke.
 
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X38

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2007
469
310
It's long past time for the entire music publishing industry to just die. With the technology available now, music should just go straight from artist to itunes (or equivalent) to consumer. There is no need for anyone else.
 
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AlphaBob

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2008
193
0
Rhode Island
The entire music industry is FUBAR

No wonder music sales are in decline.

I can't believe how difficult it is for anybody to do business with these idiots. If they keep this crap up, soon there will be no reason for "Major Labels" because there won't be any business left. All they are doing is interfering with innovative new ways to 'consume' music that may well become the life-blood of the industry.

Record labels remind me of the old railroad companies as they struggled to retain their business as faster and cheaper methods of transportation appeared. They thought they were in the 'railroad' business but figured out too late that they were in the 'transportation' business.

Record labels think they are in the music business. They aren't. They are in the licensing, distribution, production and promotion business. The internet has changed everything about distribution, production and promotion, leaving them to rely on their existing back catalog for license revenue while hoping they can trap some new talent into their out-of-date model.

Maybe Apple should just become a retail outlet for independent music. They could follow the "App" model and allow anyone to post their own music for sale by cut, or album. I bet that would be a heck of a lot more revenue going to the artists than they get from their current contracts.
 
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AlphaBob

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2008
193
0
Rhode Island
NMPA has no teeth...

I read the mission statement for the NMPA. It is a lobby group that advocates for member companies. It is NOT a licensing agency. They help represent members in negotiations, but the agreement is with the members, not NMPA. For example, they lobbied Google, who was reaching settlement with book publishers, to ensure that music related publications (books with musical notation) were properly defined and included in the settlement agreement.

It seems odd that they would have enough clout to stop Apple, especially if Apple had signed agreements from the 4 major players. As long as they didn't change the length of samples for companies NOT covered by their contracts they should have been OK.

In my opinion there was some other reason than the NMPA.
 
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MorphingDragon

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2009
5,160
5
The World Inbetween
It's long past time for the entire music publishing industry to just die. With the technology available now, music should just go straight from artist to itunes (or equivalent) to consumer. There is no need for anyone else.

Bands have already started doing that -

See:
Computers Want Me Dead
NIN (Trent Reznor owns his own "record label")
Key Of Awesome (A parody band)
 
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jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
17,001
1,869
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Record labels never cease to amaze me with how much they just don’t get it.

They’re trying to sell your songs!!! Why would you want to get in the way of that??

My same exact thought. Seriously, you live off selling songs, but they impose so many ******** and bureaucracy that distributers end up giving up.

Let's see if they continue making money if people can't be allowed to preview songs. There have been many songs I thought were the right ones, but I was wrong, a simple extra 10 or 15 secs could have avoided that and make me buy the right ones.
 
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Rafterman

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2010
2,679
1,895
The record industry needs to die. They still think this is the 1970s.
 
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bretm

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2002
1,951
27
Audio watermark

Just do like some places and play the WHOLE song, but every 10 seconds place a slightly annoying voice speaking "iTUNES" over the mix. Problem solved.
 
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longball11

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2009
656
0
Take that Apple

Nah, the people took that! Record labels aren't going to make it easy on the people. You don't deserve it. Stealing music is higher than ever. You listen to that 90 seconds and like it but you're gonna pirate it because you think .99 and 1.29 is too much.
 
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iBryton

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2010
232
0
Sorry for Caps but this should be the best news you'll read about this.

I TRIED OUT ZUNE FOR A WEEK AND THEY LET YOU PREVIEW THE WHOLE SONG AND I MEAN ANY SONG THEY HAVE ON THERE STORE. I CAN DOWNLOAD THEM AND LISTEN THEM TO FREE, BUT I LOVE ITUNES WAY BETTER BECAUSE YOU CAN ACTUALLY KEEP THEM.

WHY ARE THEY REFUSING APPLE BUT LETTING THE PREVIEW FOR THE WHOLE SONG FROM ZUNE?

WTF!!!!!!
 
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