Sony BMG, Universal Music, Warner Music, EMI and Merlin (the body which represents Europe’s independent labels all own shares in Spotify, shares the company offered the labels for an aggregate €8.8 million – presumably as part of the negotiation to secure permission to stream their music online.
Together, the labels own 18 per cent of Spotify. Sony BMG took the lion’s share, now owning 5.8 per cent of the service.
We caught up with UK online music service 7digital’s chief executive Ben Drury this week. A seasoned digital music industry professional, he shared his insights on Apple’s music market challenges as competition proliferates, social networking in music, lossless music downloads and much more.
Distorted Loop:Why does music matter? Ben Drury: Although music is not defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow_hierarchy_of_needs), I believe it must figure pretty highly on most people’s lists. In all cultures, with the possible exception of some extremist religious societies, music forms an integral part of self-expression, social cohesion, worship etc
You’ve been waiting for DRM-free music from all the major labels through iTunes, right? We reported on a “blink-and-you-miss-it” moment when tracks from majors blipped briefly in Apple’s iTunes Plus line-up? Just WTF is going down?
Negotiations may be narrowing toward closure – though at this point nothing is certain – will the labels join in or not? It’s late-night stone-faced deal make/break hardball, we reckon…
Out on the perimeter, reports are now coming in which explain just why the majors haven’t crossed the ‘T’s and dotted the ‘i’s just yet – and, it seems, each label is hard-faced on closing the deal on different points….
We know Apple already offers music DRM-free through iTunes Plus from EMI, and are convinced reports Sony BMG is already preparing its music for introduction through the service, now it seems the two remaining majors Warner and Universal, are in “discussions” to offer their music DRM-free through Apple’s service as well.
That’s over a year since EMI signed-up, and in the meantime the majors have left the majority of legitimate music consumers, who overwhelmingly use iTunes, consigned to purchasing a flawed, DRM-laden product.
Sony Pictures Television has reached another interesting deal with iTunes, offering its all-new legal drama, ‘Canterbury’s Law’ for purchase through the UK arm of the service.
It’s not the first television series the company has introduced into the UK market in this way – both Damages and Rescue Me (the first episode of the latter was made available free) also reached these shores through iTunes.
The MOG music blogging platform has confirmed it has surpassed 3 million unique visitors per month, according to Quantcast.com, tripling its site traffic in less than three months.
The MOG Music Network (MMN) – MOG’s advertising network for independent music blogs and music websites, which launched in August – now includes over 200 of the world’s music blogs, such as Glorious Noise, DiscoMusic.com, Rock on the Streets and the controversial MetalSucks, the company said.
UK online music retailer, Play.com’s PlayDigital service has reached a deal with all four majors in order to offer music for sale and download in DRM-free MP3 format – and is openly targeting Apple’s iTunes market on price and more (they supplied the image, for example).
The new service is selling tracks at prices from 65p each, as opposed to iTunes’ 79p, while album prices start at £4.99.
Play.com notes that its success in reaching the deal puts it ahead of most other retailer music services in the UK, including those from Amazon, HMV and Tesco. None of these yet offer music DRM-free in the UK – only 7digital matches Play.com’s offer.