So there are reports all over the web that Universal Music isn’t going to renew their annual contract with Apple for their music to appear in the iTunes Music store. Apparently they don’t know who they’re dealing with…and I don’t say that to make it sound like Apple is invincible when it comes to online music sales.
I mean, literally, they must not know who they are dealing with. Steve Jobs does not flinch when it comes to this type of hardball crap. He never has. In fact, Jobs will stand his ground even when it’s the wrong thing to do. If Universal thinks they can threaten Apple with the removal of Universal music from the iTunes store and have Jobs and Co. bend to whatever demands or concessions Universal wants…well, I think they’re going to be in for a BIG surprise.
Right now, they’re simply wanting to work on a temporary agreement, not their annual contract – supposedly this will allow them to do exclusives with other online music stores. I don’t know if they’ve checked the numbers or not, but they can do all the exclusives they want with other stores…no one has those players. Apple sells more music than Amazon. According to the Macworld 2007 Keynote 58 songs are sold in the iTune music store every second…Universal isn’t going to find that in the Zune Marketplace.
The iPod’s insanely dominant marketshare isn’t going away anytime soon, and if Universal wants to have success in another online music store, there’s only one way to do it…by doing DRM free….and we all know that isn’t going to happen.