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Universal still seeking cut of iPod sales?

updated 04:25 pm EST, Tue January 16, 2007

Universal, iPod sales

Universal Music Group is likely still hoping to cut a deal with Apple for a slice of its iPod profits, according to one report. Universal's chief Doug Morris -- who believes his company should share in the funds collected not just from online music sales but also from the players themselves -- recently secured a portion of revenue from Microsoft's Zune sales. "As the largest music company, he's got an interesting hand of cards," said Gartner technology analyst Mike McGuire. "He's playing them pretty adamantly and pretty hard." Universal is preparing to re-negotiate its contract with Apple in May of this year, and could use its vast array of music from hit artists such as U2 and Mariah Carey to bargain with the Cupertino-based company.

"I'm no tough guy," said Morris. "It's just the position you get put in, where you're either going to succumb to it, and say, 'fine, that's OK, yeah, put your advertisements next to our videos, we don't care,' or you're going to say 'hey, this isn't fair.'"

The upcoming negotiations could set a standard for the rest of the recording industry, according to the Associated Press, but Morris said he doesn't know whether he's prepared to pull the record label's music from iTunes in order to receive a portion of iPod sales. "I'm going to be a kamikaze pilot until that's all straightened out," Morris added.

by MacNN Staff





  1. wymer100

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I understand wanting to maximize profits, but are they going to get a cut of every car sold since each one has a radio? I really don't get how they can extract money from the iPod with this sort of deal. It screams of "it's my ball so I'm going home" sort of attitude. It's very childish.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    nothing new

    for the music business. Does this sound like a shakedown by Tony Soprano? Not a coincidence. That's how the music labels have survived... by extorting and s******* over everyone they can.

    f*** 'em. Pirate as many Universal artists as you can.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    playing chicken

    This is just two companies playing chicken. Jobs sure won't give in. After all, Apple's income comes from iPod sales, not iTunes sales. Jobs can't give in on this at all... if Universal gets a cut of each iPod sale, Sony will want their cut too, so will all the other labels. Then someday each will want a bigger cut. It's like inviting the mafia into your business as an investor. Once they are in the door you will never get rid of them and they will run it into the ground.

    OTOH, if Universal pulls their artists from iTunes, they will just be encouraging piracy. I hardly think that people will stop buying iPods if they can't buy U2 tracks. Universal can threaten to set up their own online music store, but I can just see Jobs breaking up into hysterics at that one. The whole reason iTMS exists is because dumbass music labels couldn't figure out how to do it right on their own.

    Prediction: Jobs will figure out a way to give Universal something so that they can proclaim they 'won' and back down gracefully, saving face.

  1. gambit23

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To Apple:

    Don't know if anyone of importance is reading this at Apple (or Universal, for that matter), but here's my take on this:

    Apple: don't. This would set a huge precedent if you caved to their demands, and who's to say it'll stop there? If Universal wants to take their ball and go home, let them.

    We'll pirate from Universal what we can't buy at your store.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple should go direct... licensing the artists without the middlemen...

    ...perhaps a win-win scenario, as long as new bandwidth will allow lossless downloads for us...?

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think Steve does face saving. This guy will either back down in shame, or do something stupid like pulling their music off iTunes. It doesn't really matter to Steve because he'll sell just as many iPods, and we'll just get Universal's music off of P2P's.

    I think it would be great if Steve rubbed Morris's face in it by taking the money he's demanding, let's say $10 per pod, and establish a fund to promote unsigned artists on iTunes.

    STFU Morris

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and GFY is what Apple will tell them.

  1. t6hawk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think Apple should license the artists direct also. The labels are nothing short of a group of greedy businessmen exploiting the artists and the people that sell the music.

  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969



    since most of the artists cannot license their material directly to anyone without the label being involved, that cuts your theory about getting around the label. Let this exec hang himself, he's only going to make himself look stupid.

    Does the label share its profits with Apple?

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what's next?

    The next things they'll ask for is a cut of all computer sales because they can play music, too, some of which might be pirated Universal music (more of it will be if they keep up their stupidity). Next they'll tax Apple TV because you might be streaming pirated music there, too. Then let's tax CD players because I might burn illegal music to a CD and play it on a player. And while we're at it let's tax the ISPs and router manufacturers because, after all, that illegal music must have travelled over the internet to get to your computer and thus onto your iPod.

    Oh c***, I'm giving them ideas.....

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