updated 12:45 pm EDT, Mon July 2, 2007
Universal: no new contract
Universal Music has declined to ink a 2-year contract with Apple to keep its vast catalog of tracks on the Cupertino-based company's iTunes Music Store, but has agreed instead to offer its tracks on a month-to-month basis. The music company is now free to offer its music -- which includes artists such as 50 Cent and Mariah Carey -- exclusively to other vendors, which could weaken Apple's dominant position in the digital music industry. Universal's 12-month agreement with Apple expired last month, according to Reuters, and some music execs have expressed discontent with Apple's market leading stranglehold that they say may have stunted growth of the digital music market by locking users into its own iPod+iTunes ecosystem.