Did Apple Tell Warner Music Group, “Hey, We Can Be Jerks, Too”?

estelle_shine_tn.jpgFile under “scenarios that I kind of wished had played out in real time”: “Apple had reportedly been sufficiently annoyed by [Warner Music Group’s decision to pull Estelle’s Shine from the iTunes Store] that it threatened to retaliate by pulling all mentions of WMG product from the various splash pages of the iTunes Store on a worldwide basis, apart from Metallica. Had Warner not capitulated, the absence of iTunes visibility would have had a devastating impact on Q4 sales, while the leadership of Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Lyor Cohen would have once again been called into question, with the inevitable negative implications for WMG stock.” [HITS Daily Double]

  • Chris Molanphy

    I’m probably giving Apple too much credit, but I imagine the reason they felt inspired to make the threat wasn’t just their 800-lb.-gorilla status, but the fact that Warner only pulled the album from iTunes while leaving it up at Amazon and elsewhere.

    Still: I guess Apple is now–with its outsize power and willingness to use it as leverage–the new Wal-Mart. With prettier merchandise.

  • DeeW

    I still don’t understand WMG’s decision to pull the album from iTunes. What were they thinking? Estelle is a (relatively) new artist here in The States; she needs all the help selling music she can get. Pulling the album from the world’s biggest music store won’t help.

    @Chris Molanphy:
    I wouldn’t put s**t past Apple anymore. You’re right: They are the new Wal-Mart with “prettier merchandise”. They even recently filed a patent to put DRM on your clothes!

    Read here: [arstechnica.com]

  • Maura Johnston

    @DW: They’re thinking that the world hasn’t changed, and that they can still get their way from having executive-level tantrums?

  • alec_baldwin

    I think Apple is out of control, but I try and I try to give the boys at WMG the benefit of the doubt, but they keep putting on those Apple Bottom Jean and boots with the fur just so the whole club can look at them. STOP. Run ya business.

  • T’Challa

    Live and learn, people. Just because Kid Rock can get more than 2 million Americans to go into actual brick-and-mortar stores and purchase hard copies of his new CD because it’s not available on iTunes does NOT make it a viable marketing strategy.

    If I had a dollar for every person that’s been pleasantly surprised at how many people have told me that they LOVE the entire Estelle album, I’d be taking all of my Idolator buddies out for milkshakes on Saturday…

    PS: She puts on a wicked live show as well…

  • alec_baldwin

    Now I understand why Lyor sold $6.8 million in stock awhile back…Up and out or onward and upward? Who knows? I’ve got the soy chips and green tea…