Apple’s aggressive music ambitions draw DOJ scrutiny


Apple has big ambitions for its new music streaming service.
Beats redesign is coming to WWDC 2015. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s big Beats Music relaunch might be revealed next month at WWDC, and Apple is trying to clear a path through Spotify and YouTube by strong-arming labels into killing freemium music services.

The aggressive tactics have triggered the Department of Justice to look into Apple’s business practices for its upcoming music streaming service, according to a report from the Verge, claiming high-ranking music industry execs have already been interviewed.

“All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” says one of The Verge’s sources, who revealed Apple is offering to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to the Universal Music Group, as long as the label stops putting music on YouTube.

Apple is expected to reveal its new subscription-based music service in June. Jimmy Iovine has been leading negotiations with labels execs, though Tim Cook has been rolling with him to Grammy parties to get cozy with the industry too. It’s unknown what the price of monthly subscriptions with be, though previous rumors claimed Apple wanted to be to $7.99, but the labels reportedly refused.

By leveraging its huge power in the music industry, Apple is asking labels to not renew Spotify’s license to stream music through its free tier. Spotify currently boasts 60 million uses, only 15 million of which actually pay anything to listen to music. Pandora has even more with 79.2 million active listeners, only 5% of which are paid users.


Source: The Verge


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