Feeds

World's biggest label kneecaps iTunes store

Not so Universal any more

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Universal Music Group (UMG) has dealt a serious blow to Apple's music ambitions by refusing to renew its contract with the iTunes Store.

The New York Times reports that the decision not to continue the annual contract was made by UMG executives last week.

It appears likely that Universal's repertory will disappear from the online store, unless the two parties can reach a new agreement. Embarrassingly for Apple, the removal of its catalogue will mean the loss of Apple poster child U2.

Owned by French media giant Vivendi, UMG is the world's biggest record label and claims to sell one album in four. It grew through a series of mergers, acquiring Polygram, A&M, Geffen, Motown, Island, and Verve.

Further details are scant, but the Times reports that Sony BMG recently renewed its annual contract with Apple.

Music executives have chafed at being forced to sell to iTunes at the one price set by Apple. They're also wary of the "cherrypicking" model, permitting single song downloads, that's destroyed the lucrative "bundle" of the album. They're keen to see more regular, service-based models succeed, even though these offer lower per-unit returns.

The four major labels have licensed their catalogues to Omnifone's global mobile music service MusicStation, set to launch in 30 territories over the coming months. MusicStation offers unlimited downloads for £1.99 a week, and provides the labels with a more predictable income stream than single song download stores. Apple isn't the only game in town, anymore.

Last year, UMG succeeded in extracting a $1 license fee from Microsoft for every Zune player sold. It's rumoured that Nokia declined a similar arrangement. If UMG gained a similar amount from Apple, that's still only around $40m a year. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.