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Rare and Exclusive iTunes?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,498
13,133
This Wired article profiles Apple's efforts to bring out of print music onto the iTunes Music Store.

The search for new songs/albums appears to be a collaborative one, with suggestions fielded from every source.

Of note, according to the article, record labels are estimated to have less than one third of their music currently available for sale due to distribution costs involved in physical CDs. Once offered in digital format, however, they could represent an additional revenue source for labels. Apple has already found some early success in recruiting such out-of-print music.
 

=pa=

macrumors newbie
May 20, 2003
28
0
Toronto
First things first

It's great that they're working on the "out of print" music, but there's a huge whack of "in print" titles that aren't available at iTunes - maybe Apple should do something about that first. :rolleyes:
 
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pkr

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2004
38
4
OOP

This should be a no brainer for the record companies - no distribution or marketing costs.
 
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Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
1,071
0
Georgia
Short run vs. long run

In the near term, this sounds great for the record labels; it's distribution for tracks that would otherwise not be distributed. Money for nothing.

Long term, though, I still think the business model of record labels is going to change dramatically the next five years. As the labels become increasingly dependent upon online distribution, online distributors like iTMS will gain the upper hand.

I'm still waiting for the first major artist -- Pearl Jam or Wilco, possibly, when the Nonesuch agreement expires -- to make a first-look deal with iTMS. Apple is better positioned to be a "label" than any of the current big five.

As I've said here before, look at the television/film industry. Viacom, Time Warner, Fox, etc., own blends of content and distribution. The same model fits perfectly with Apple.

The incentive to spread the content around also has a model in the television/film industry. Just as Warner Brothers makes "ER" for NBC instead of its own WB network, Apple could sign acts and license the content to other distributors and distribution chanels.

Plus, with Pixar, Steve-o is already in the content business, so the involvement and experience is there.

I don't expect it immediately, but Apple and EMI would make a great fit if the price was right.
 
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JohnStrass

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
175
135
Miami, USA
=pa= said:
It's great that they're working on the "out of print" music, but there's a huge whack of "in print" titles that aren't available at iTunes - maybe Apple should do something about that first. :rolleyes:


Frankly, the only remaining justification for stealing music online is that much music is no longer available. This is a GREAT thing for those of us with access to Amazon, local stores, etc. for the in print music, but unable to find the out of print.
I would pay a premium to get some music (in a non-Kazaa kind of way) I just cant find anywhere else
 
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tveric

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2003
400
0
A nice middle ground is that allofmp3.com site, where you pay like 3 cents a song and it's readily available... and they have a ton of out-of-print stuff. But who even knows whether it's totally legal. I've read some research online that says it is, and the RIAA tried to come after them and have already failed, but it wasn't exactly mainstream media reporting that.
 
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fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
the only remaining justification

JohnStrass said:
Frankly, the only remaining justification for stealing music online is that much music is no longer available. This is a GREAT thing for those of us with access to Amazon, local stores, etc. for the in print music, but unable to find the out of print.
I would pay a premium to get some music (in a non-Kazaa kind of way) I just cant find anywhere else

I agree - I went to look for the 80's one hit wonder song from Taco - Puttin On The Ritz

iTunes Store didn't have it so I used LimeWire

There are only two hard to find 80's compilation CDs that carry this song. None carry the other Top 100 song from the album "Singin In The Rain" - which hass an awesome Dolby Surround Rain Effect.
 
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idkew

macrumors 68020
[sarcasm]

no way- you mean to tell me it actually costs LESS for a record company to distribute music electronically?

here i was thinking that it actually costs the same, or more.

[/sarcasm]

time to drop music prices online. (oh wait, the cartel would never do that)
 
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jholzner

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,384
0
Champaign, IL
Well they are trying to get ideas of what out of print stuff they want/need. If you know of some stuff give them feedback via iTunes...and make sure you mention that it is out of print. Can't hurt!
 
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IndyGopher

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2001
782
1
Indianapolis, IN
ejb190 said:
Ever notice how Disney brings their movies in and out of availability? Would there be any reason for the music industry to do the same? But on the other hand, how much demand will there ever be for Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus"?
I have 4 different versions of it.. which took 4 different albums to get ahold of.. (a couple were $25 imports) which one do you mean? Now that we've covered the simple notion that your tastes aren't the only ones, let's move on.

This is exactly what Apple needs. This is what many, especially the older crowd, used Napster for. It wasn't about getting music for free, which was nice, it was about finding music you hadn't heard since you finally sent your Nehru jacket to Goodwill. Yes, there are many holes in Apple's offerings even counting the stuff that is still out there, but the goldmine, especially among people who are WILLING to pay for music is the out of print stuff.

An illustration: With Napster, friends and I would spend hours simply trying to find a song that WASN'T out there. It didn't matter if it were the theme song to the Lost In Space TV series, or something like Bloodrock's D.O.A. you could always find it. Or search for a song title, and see how many weird covers of something you could find. (6 covers of Wild World, for example) With things as they are on iTunes Music Store right now, it would take about one try to hit a song that wasn't available. Anything that improves this is VERY welcome, and a solid chance to bring in more users, and money.
 
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Trekkie

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2002
909
20
Wake Forest, NC
no, please no. I'd go broke.

There are *so* many new wave, 80s, what not that I had on casette that got stolen by a room mate that I'd want...

Icehouse..... can think of four of their albums.
Laurie Anderson/William S Burrows...

the biggest problem I have is I don't remember the names of the groups, but with the 30 sec preview I could make sure it's what I thought it was and off I go.

Between my wife and I we've managed to buy about 300 songs with what they have today!
 
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iBook

macrumors regular
May 3, 2004
208
0
On a tugboat
Porchland said:
I'm still waiting for the first major artist -- Pearl Jam or Wilco, possibly, when the Nonesuch agreement expires -- to make a first-look deal with iTMS. Apple is better positioned to be a "label" than any of the current big five.

Interesting idea. Isn't this possibility -- that Apple would directly enter the music industry/market/??? -- prompting the Apple Records lawsuit against Apple Computers.

That, and a certain unnamed Beatles' desire for even more money than he already has.
 
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iBook

macrumors regular
May 3, 2004
208
0
On a tugboat
I have to say that this is a great idea. Putting out-of-print or never-made-it-to-cd music on the iTunes store would be very good addition. I'd have to think the tape masters could easily be digitized without a lot of expense -- how long would it take to digitize a 45-minute album and FTP the files to Apple?
 
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tristan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2003
765
0
high-rise in beautiful bethesda
Good for the artists too maybe?

I wonder how this would work for an artist. For example, my favorite band is Garbage, but they've only put out three albums, which is maybe 45 songs, since the 90s.

Now I'm sure that these 30 songs aren't the only songs they've ever written. I would happily pay 99 cents a song for some additional stuff, and so would lots of other Garbage fans. If there's maybe 50,000 of us out there, then Shirley Manson and her pals could pull one of their songs out of the vault and say "okay, let's sell it".

Maybe the record company gets $25k, Apple gets $10k, and Garbage gets $15k. Or they go cut another song over the weekend so they can support their heroin habits. (Don't know for sure, just assuming.) Sounds like a good business model if the artist gets enough money to make it worth it to them to keep pumping out a new song. If Shirley only gets $1000, she's going to say "forget it" and go play a club somewhere for 10x that.
 
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sinisterdesign

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2003
422
3
atlanta
as has been said before, this is a no-brainer. very little distribution costs (hell, pay me to rip them to AAC...of course i would do it at 192kbps) and no packaging costs. find a photo lying around, scan it & make it the "album cover" for the iTunes artwork.

but it's all the B-sides, remixes & live stuff that i'm stoked about. i'm already seeing this on the top level of iTMS. i've downloaded some great live tracks from Guster & Ryan Adams not to mention some remixes from Seal.

i want to see some "best of live..." albums from a ton of bands. oh yeah, and more "puttin' on the ritz" remixes...
 
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&RU

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2004
84
0
Bring on the back catalogue!

This is great - I have a very long list of albums that I would like to pick up and they just aren't available.

If they actually started releasing out of print music, they could substatially increase their revenue with a nominal investment. This is a far better option than raising the price of individual songs. Catalogue product is what keeps most entertainment companies afloat. If they have product they can either keep it in a back room to collect dust, or on ITMS and collect money.

Now, bring it to Canada.
 
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michaelrjohnson

macrumors 68020
Aug 9, 2000
2,179
5
53132
i think we all agree there is immense potential here for apple to do something great. we'll just have to see how long of a leash the record labels put apple on. hang on, it's just starting to get interesting!
 
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msandersen

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2003
216
30
Sydney, Australia
ejb190 said:
how much demand will there ever be for Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus"?
I know saomeone who has a very lucrative business selling compilation CDs (he's licensed to do so, of course) to radio stations, in particular 80's stuff, which is his and my brother's heyday. They were both DJs at the time, and they're able to name any 80s song by artists, producers, record company, obscure 12" remixes etc, all that stuff. My brother particularly collects anything produced by Trevor Horn (originally appeared as lead singer for "Video Killed The Radio Star", figured he was too ugly to be a rock star, and instead has produced a long line of hits for lots of people). Lots of retro stations around, and increasingly regular stations are digging into their vaults to play 70s-80s classics, since that's when their main office-worker audience grew up. Lots of straight-laced office suits grew up on that stuff, and they have money now. Many clubs have an 80s dance floor.
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and people casually browsing an online music store may on a whim try and find their favourite song from the 80s, be it one-hit wonders like Ant Music or something. They'll go "Wow!" and start putting lots of other retro music from lost youth in the basket, and have a blast reliving the days they still had hair and could pull chicks (or, in the case of women, before they had children and put on a few pounds, and when they were able to go out picking up guys).
To some, like my brother, little worthwhile music was made after the 80s.
 
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punter

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2003
265
0
Australia
personally i've waited over a year for a copy of a cd and i'm assuming it's out of print. I can't even find it online to download (nobody seems to have my taste in music ;) ).

I think this solution would be wicked.
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Sonds great. Now... how about getting a commitment from the record labels to finish all those Partial Albums within three months?

WHY are so many random older albums still partial month after month? The ONLY thing I can think is that the labels are using them in a scientific test of buying habits, full albums vs. singles. If so, can we end the experiment?

I can imaging the labels would want some newer partial albums just to make people go to the store--obnoxious, but that doesn't bother me AS much. Let them be partial for a few weeks if they must. But all the older albums that are incomplete are annoying. I won't buy a single off a partial album if I can't be sure I don't want the whole thing. Do labels realize they are losing more than album sales (obviously), but also single sales?

End rant... Begin Feedback Link :)
http://apple.com/feedback
 
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shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,412
223
Purcellville, VA
nagromme said:
WHY are so many random older albums still partial month after month? The ONLY thing I can think is that the labels are using them in a scientific test of buying habits, full albums vs. singles. If so, can we end the experiment?
My theory is that they're trying to extract more money from you.

They're gaming the system. Apple can't charge an album price if the entire album isn't available. A partial album can only be purchased as individual tracks, for $1 each.

I've seen this for a lot of multi-disc albums. In stores, they cost $25-30. Through mail-order, they may cost $20-25. An ITMS album would probably be priced in the same ballpark. But as individual tracks, the entire set costs $35-40.

The label wants you to buy individual tracks, not albums, because they get paid more. And how do you prevent Apple from offering an album price? You withhold one track. End of problem, and no lawyers need get involved.
 
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zelman

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
93
22
nagromme said:
Sonds great. Now... how about getting a commitment from the record labels to finish all those Partial Albums within three months?

WHY are so many random older albums still partial month after month?

End rant... Begin Feedback Link :)
http://apple.com/feedback

some of them have worthless tracks that are less than 30 seconds, and others have "hidden tracks" that include minutes of silence after the last song before the secret stuff at the end.

It pisses me off too, but there's no easy answer.
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
If they're worried that someone will buy a silent track and be disappointed, just make that track "album only"--I've seen that done.

And to make money by forcing people to buy singles, the labels would have to assume people will buy all the singles and not just certain ones. I bet that rarely happens, though. And it's just odd the things you find being partial. It's not often cases where I can understand a profit motive for doing so.
 
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