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.