Feeds

Indie labels reject iTunes

But AOL is backing Apple

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Apple's European iTunes launch went ahead today without the support of some of the UK's biggest independent labels.

A spokesman for the Association of Independent Music (AIM) confirmed this morning that talks between Apple and the organisation, which represents key UK indie labels, including Beggars Banquet and XL, had broken down.

"A lot of labels haven't been approached but where Apple has spoken to labels the terms on offer have been commercial suicide," he told The Guardian newspaper.

At the iTunes Music Store (ITMS) launch, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the store's 700,000-strong catalogue features tracks from "dozens" of indies.

Independent labels account for around a quarter of the UK music market. They claim Apple has tried to enforce too strict a licensing regime. Financial terms are part of the problem, it seems, as are Apple's demand for three-year licences.

"This is just another example of a monopolistic American company trying to dictate terms," a source at one leading independent label told the paper.

"Most independents have similar concerns. None of the key UK labels have signed and the situation is similar in France."

AIM has licensed some of its members' content to Apple rival Napster and to UK digital music provider Wippit. That level of exposure to downloaders willing to pay for songs may be enough to satisfy some labels, but with Apple claiming a 70 per cent market share in the fledgling online music arena, others may feel the need to reach an agreement.

Apple is understood to have secured global licensing deals with writers and publishers who operate under the auspices of MCPS-PRS alliance in the UK, SACEM/SDRM in France and GEMA in Germany.

Meanwhile, AOL Europe announced today that it has agreed to connect its AOL Music channels in the UK, France and Germany to Apple's national iTunes stores. AOL members can log into ITMS using their own screenname and password, and music-related links within AOL's music channels take user straigth to ITMS.

AOL claims to be the UK's most visited music-related site, attracting over 1m unique vistors a month.

In the US, AOL provides downloads of its own, through digital music distributor MusicNet. That deal is not exclusive, and neither is the European arrangement. ®

Related stories

Apple opens iTunes in the UK, France and Germany
Napster ups UK track count ahead of Sony, Apple launches
Napster UK goes live
UK indies sign to Napster...
MusicNet to deliver music downloads to UK

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.