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Apple, Jay-Z may launch record label

updated 01:25 pm EST, Thu January 3, 2008

Apple, Jay-z record label?

Rumors had circulated that rap star Jay-Z and Apple would together launch a record label, but a new report from the Boy Genius Report "just about" confirms a deal. Citing a "high-up" source attached to Jay-Z, the deal is said be a go. Jay-Z is allegedly happy with the business model and wants to go ahead with the plan. The implications of Apple forging its own music label would likely send tension thundering through the already-tenuous relationships between the Cupertino-based company and its music label partners selling tracks via the iTunes Store.

In a followup article, the Boy Genius Report suggests that Jay-Z may not run the record label, but would instead reside as an "urban" artist. Such a move would allow Apple to make similar deals with other artists, using Jay-Z's ability to get artists on the radio.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. devospice

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    um... why??

    What good is having their own label going to do for Apple?

  1. HombrePhaty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Good for artists

    I'm not sure how good it would do Apple... but I trust they understand that.

    It is, however, very good for artists. It seems that this is the new model for music, even though it has been, and will be, resisted by the music studios.

    There has been one path for artist forever: get a deal with a studio. That model is ineffective and cumbersome. Selling your music directly and immediately on iTunes (the world's largest music store) would be good for aritists.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    why???

    Good question. Maybe Apple sees all the money going to Universal and the likes and wants in on that side of the action.

    And wouldn't it be funny if music on the apple label was sold on the iTMS with DRM?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: good for artists

    There has been one path for artist forever: get a deal with a studio. That model is ineffective and cumbersome. Selling your music directly and immediately on iTunes (the world's largest music store) would be good for aritists.

    Starting a label is basically trying to become a studio. This has nothing to do with getting music directly on iTMS (since they can do that already).

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: good for artists

    "Starting a label is basically trying to become a studio. This has nothing to do with getting music directly on iTMS (since they can do that already)."

    Yes, independent artists can get their music on iTunes without a studio/label. But with out that, they are also on your own for CDs, concerts, etc. And once you sign with a label for that stuff, they also control your distribution. If they don't want you on iTunes, it's probably not going to get there. If this is true, it would get artist they label support they may want/need and give Apple a sure source of content for iTunes. Right now, if Universal wants to pull it's music, I'm guess their artists have no say in the matter.

    The big question is, as a studio, will Apple treat their artists any better or do more to develop talent (as opposed to creating a string of one-hit-wonders), or will they become just another studio?

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    interesting move

    It's a ballsy move too.

    DANGER: uninformed speculation to follow:

    It might be an attempt to counter the recording industry pressure on Apple to gouge its customers currently buying tracks from iTunes, by setting up an alternate model for how to deal with recording artists. Question is, would the labels withdraw from iTunes if Apple starts picking off their artists?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    but...

    DANGER: uninformed speculation to follow:

    h***, I can do better than that. One has to wonder about the legality (FTC-wise) of setting up a system where you are both the label, distributor, and seller of the same product. The movie studios can no longer run their own theaters. Is Apple possibly facing the same type of threats if they get into this business?

  1. sgs123

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Makes perfect sense

    If Apple's proposition to the artists were "you do your own production and promotion and we'll give you a sales outlet and (possibly) put your CD's into the channel for a smaller cut and fewer strings" everyone (except the existing labels) wins.

    The record labels lock bands in because of the "huge cost of production and promotion" -- with current technology, it's completely possible for a band to do that themselves.

    Apple offers artists a distribution network for their work, Apple gets content for their store, the artists keep their rights and they split what would have been the "traditional" record label's cut.

  1. Feynman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple Records Inc now...

    .....and six to twelve months down the road we will have a Microsoft Records trying to compete. You heard it here first, and you know it will happen.

  1. Haroscarfel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    apple corps

    i seem to remember a spat between the beetles and apple being resolved a little while ago.

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