Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Hell freezes over again! Steve Jobs wants to remediate the record industry

This is one of those ideas whose time has finally come, and its not because Steve Jobs is a real nice guy either, I mean he may well be but this opening salvo from Jobs on DRM screams to me that the behind the scenes fire fights must have been horrendous, think about it, we're referring to our friend at "RIAA" the same wonderful pack who sue people who don't now or never have owned computers in their fight to defend the bottom line. Now here comes Steve, with this patently anti RIAA, anti Record Producer idea, the removal of DRM from the the music Itunes sells. Apparently sometime some one at apple must have informed the powers that be that Itunes sales were on a long term vertical move, with brick and mortar record stores like Tower records being boarded up by the bushel, it looked like the lights went on and apples view of the future finally gelled enough for Steve to make his case, one that many insiders are saying he wanted to say all along.
The case that DRM is bad for business and bad for consumers. While I applaud this opening salvo, I also know full well the reason Jobs wants to ditch DRM is so he can sell to all MP3 music players/listeners on the market, not just IPOD owners, who are hooked into using apples itune by design. If the trend holds and Itunes along with a dozen or more music sites hold to the trend of out selling traditional music venues, while the brick and mortar stores continue to slide into oblivion, soon the the record industry will have no choice, as they will have only one method to move the product, namely the internet and through the portals one of which Jobs owns.
As one of many who've watched this love hate relationship between apple and the record industry for a long time, I'm curious to see when the next phase in this war will start, that will be when jobs follows or models and starts signing up artists themselves.
For a few years now has made a true niche market for small unsigned bands to promote themselves and sell their music. If Itunes were to open up a similar scheme, except offering a sales portal to established artists to market themselves, then the gloves will come off. But so will the record labels artists, off of itunes, that is, unless Jobs and his team at apple can offer a better contract for the performers, say like 90 cents out of a hundred, per down load.
Personally I can't wait to see the fur fly, and believe me, it's gonna fly. Personally I hope Jobs makes this play, as it would benefit the artists and the consumers. the trick is to build a marketing machine that will suport this idea and bring it to fruition. But 90 % of that Jobs already owns!

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