Today In Unsurprising Major-Label Negotiation Tactics

May 20th, 2008 // 1 Comment

jobslego.jpgWith the forthcoming launch of the 3G iPhone, Apple is trying to make the iTunes Store available to any iPhone users, and not just those who are already within reach of a wireless connection. But he needs to make deals with the major labels in order for this to happen, and so the majors are hoping that this means the idea of variable pricing–in which, say, Hard Candy will cost the few people who still want to buy it out there an extra couple of bucks–is back on the table, as is the whole “Comes With Music”-like all-you-can-eat plan that gives over a chunk of change to the labels for each device sold in exchange for said devices having “any” songs (that the labels want to keep in digital print and, presumably, don’t feel like overcharging for) available to users who want them. Not to seem all biased and stuff, but I do hope Mr. Jobs stays strong in these negotiations, because the whole Comes With Music plan in particular seems like a stinker with a shelf life that will come screeching to a halt as soon as the labels figure out that they’ve made all the money they can from it. [Listening Post]

  1. Chris Molanphy

    They (the labels) are also salivating over the $2.99 price point on certain HBO shows announced last week. They think Jobs is finally caving.

    The smart thing Jobs did was have this discussion after the iPhone’s been out a year and already eaten the lunch of every other smartphone on the market - even bits of RIM’s marketshare. The reason we haven’t seen any of the majors actually pull their songs from iTunes despite all the bitching - i.e., it’s by far the biggest game in town – is the same reason Jobs will use to get them to cave on iPhone sales.

    Plus, he’s going to throw them a bone with more ringtone money (still can’t figure out how that shit is so expensive).

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