by Jon Newton, 11/9/03
If Wal-Mart joins the throng in the music download rush, it'll be more because it wants to get customers into the store than because it's aiming to sell music to the masses.
But that's not so with iTunes. At the Apple online music store, it's all about the songs. Right?
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Has to be. And when Steve Jobs was promoting iTunes for Windows in San Francisco recently, didn't he feature iSight and iChat AV for a drop of video conferencing when U2's Bono - in Dublin at the time - said he was very excited about Apple bringing iTunes to Window -
- "It's like the Pope of Software meeting with the Dalai Lama of Integration"?
Apparently, Bono also said, "... I'm here to kiss the corporate ass, and I don't kiss every corporate ass".
We're not sure if this last is beside the point, or not.
But what's definitely to the point is the apparent fact that iTunes is a big deal in the online music stakes. In fact, it's already, "the best jukebox software in the world, with the best music store inside and it keeps getting better," trumpets Apple on its web page here.
At .99 cents per track and with all those sales Apple brags about, it's going to make a fortune. And some of that money (not much, probably, but some of it) will wind up going to the artists whose music is being sold through Apple's online music store. Yes?
In fact, the iTunes Music Store exists not to make money from online music (and incidentally, put a dime or two into the pockets of the musicians who make it all possible).
Rather, it's to help Apple sell iPods, says a report in The Industry Standard
And even worse, "With ITunes Music Store, most of the money goes to the music labels," it quotes Jobs as saying.
"We'd like to break even, make a little money. That's why, when I look at Roxio Napster and all these other companies, I think they're spending money on a business that can't make money."
And to make himself thoroughly clear, "I'm kind of puzzled why these companies want to get into a business like this. It makes no sense," he says.
There you have it.
Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.
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