Sony at war, could pull music from iTunes

It appears as if Sony is at war with Apple and is threatening to pull its music from iTunes and their games from the App Store as well. Sony has plans on opening their own version of iTunes, an online streaming service called Music Unlimited, and a service that will bring Playstation titles to mobile platforms starting with Android.

Perhaps Sony is not happy about having their reader app rejected by Apple and is taking their frustration out on the end users? Or perhaps Sony just wants a piece of the enormous pie that is mobile downloadings including music and apps. Sony's CEO, Michael Ephraim, had the following to say about Apple and iTunes.

If we do [get mass take up] then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes? Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now.

Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold.

Strong words there. Mr. Ephraim also said their Music Unlimited service right now is planned for Sony's mobile products and may or may not go to other platforms but we can assume that now we will not see it available for use on any iOS device.

So it appears as if Sony and Apple are starting into some unfriendly times and it will seemingly only hinder the consumer. What are your thoughts on Sony's threats to pull its stuff from iTunes all together? Does it matter or is there already enough content that you won't even notice their departure? Sound off below!

[ Digital Life, thanks Anthony! ]

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

← Previously

Nokia goes Windows Phone to better compete with Apple iPhone

Next up →

Apple looking to improve iOS notifications... by buying an iPhone app?

Reader comments

Sony at war, could pull music from iTunes

62 Comments

Sony is just being a douche. They don't care about their consumers, just their greed.... N frustration. The frustration of being REJECTED!

Its called business. You think Apple cared about users when they rejected Sony's app ? Two way street buddy, but of course you dont dare to say anything bad about apple :roll:

Sony is probably just after Equal Treatment. If Amazon can do it, why not Sony?
The idea that Apple gets a cut of all In-App purchases is very haphazardly implemented, and unequally enforced.
I installed the Talk to Chuck (Schwab) app the other day on my iPhone. Do you seriously thing the SEC will stand by and let Apple get a piece of stock purchases done on this app? Do you think Apple would even attempt to gain 30 percent of that revenue stream and incur all the SEC regulation that comes with that?
If Apple can't get a nickel out of Charles Schwab, why should the get any money from Sony for an in app book purchase?

Sony did nothing to help Apple build its products, nor did they help build the iTunes architecture, yet both of these facilitate the sales of Sony's music. So Sony already benefits of all of Apple's work. Why exactly should Sony be able to take advantage of Apple's entire architecture without paying anything, again?

Not unexpected after Apple turned the screwdriver on them with thier reader app. Normal corporate "bargaining" at its finest.

Pure greed from Sony. Hey Sony, guess what? I don't WANT to have to pay a subscription fee every month. I'd rather buy WHAT I want, WHEN I want to.

why doesn't apple just allow you to install apps from outside itunes. simple answer they don't make money that way. Both sides here are being greedy. believe it or not people apple is greedy just like every other company out there.

Actually Apple doesn't allow side loading because it can cause harm the phone and they want an all around seamless experience. I'm an avid jailb'r but I'd be lying if I said the phone ran better on it. It's just how Apple is, idk why people still get surprised. Don't buy their stuff if they are so money hungry. It's a business, the goal is money like all business is. Plus, Apple has the best customer relations around last time I checked.

YEA RIGHT!!! .. because so many Android phones have been harmed by sideloading apps to the device ... right?

@Jerry.
You are trolling again. Can't you bless us with your genious takes on a APPLE blog without including Android?
Who is the "fanboy". Save your spin and wisdom for another place, for another group that cares what you think......me, not so much!
BTW. Had to ask. Got your Samsung Galaxy Tab yet? Boy, are they flying of the shelves............What a disaster for "your iPad killer" .

Jimi,
The whole thing about side-loading being harmful to the phone only pertains to apps. NOT content. How can an e-book hurt your phone?
Sorry, I don't buy the side-loading issue for content. Makes no sense.

It's very interesting that Apple is the one who gets to decide what's "allowed" on a phone that I PAID FOR. How come I don't get to decide whether I want the "seamless experience" or just what what I want to load?

Yeah Sony can GFTS they haven't brought a decent mp3 player to the table yet and now they are crying like little baby's because their e-reader app was denied because they won't follow the app store rules. Way to screw the customer so your self righteous a holes can "stand your ground". As if screwing the artistist wasn't enough...

Right on lightningr1. Also, we have to remember corporations are made up of people too. Without this so called "greed" then there will be no incentive to innovate. Otherwise we should all just work for free.

Ummm. I havnt bought a cd since..... Napster. Yea. And im sure im not the only one. Reguardless the morality, music needs a totaly diff business model. Maybe one where beiber, jonas bros, naked brothers band and all those children exploited for the sake of the all mighty dollar, will cease to exist, and some company promotes music instead of a brand.

Just shooting themselves in the foot, like all thier devices being exclusive to Rogers only in canada.

Well. A compromise will have to be made if apples contract does not have a hold on Sony. Remember apple can see the future, and they probably have seen this issue coming.

Go ahead Sony. Throw a tantrum and pull your products from Apple's platforms. That will only continue the death spiral your company has been in for over a decade now. If your management cannot see this, then you deserve to be on a sinking ship.

Amusing that a Sony executive is complaining about being held ransom - what goes around comes around I guess.....to be fair, iTunes could use some competition, not sure that Sony's has the savvy to do it though....
:)

Andrew,
Do u think that Apple is innocent in all this? If u do, I have a bridge I wanna sell u. lol

Of course apple isn't innocent but a lot of people buy media in itunes so if they do pull it they will be losing money

Wonder how all of Sony's recording artists will feel, no longer being able to sell their music in the most popular and successful music store in the world? Pretty sure Sony'll be losing more than a few artists if they do this.

Well, well, well.. Sony, now the shoe is on the other foot and you don't like it. You and the rest of the recording industry have had a choke hold on the consumer for decades, now that the tables have turned you don't like how it feels. Turnabout is fair play!

That is exactly how I feel. Sony is feeling the discomfort they have dished to consumers and oter companies for years, but Sony cannot take the fight to Apple at this time, not with Apple's dominance.

So, basically Sony is saying that the #1 seller in the market isn't good enough, let's go make our own. It would be like not selling at Tower Records.
Thus I'm of the idea that it's corporate BS

Im not sure if they have figured this out or not but when it comes to music production and distribution, the last thing you really want to do is make enemies with Apple. Sorry, but they have their game face on when it comes to portable entertainment. #Fail Sony...big time.

What I find intersting is Sony wants to open a new download site. Where this industry was so successful in file-share (Loss) management, product offering and customer pricing before Apple. It appears they have learned little except that as then, Apple is still the only game in town that offers compensation. Apple is making a little bit from iTunes but not enough to encourage competition.

I really don't understand the short-sided mindset of some companies. At one point, a-tracks were the industry standard, then it was cassettes. The business model changes and these companies are so slow to adapt. I think the future is a model where you have subscription based unlimited streaming to mobile devices, I'd say at about 5 USD a month, with the option to buy an mp3 at about 69-99 cents, all online. I really think Apple will be the first one to do this, and again, change the music industry.

Perhaps Sony is not happy about having their reader app rejected by Apple and is taking their frustration out on the end users? Or perhaps Sony just wants a piece of the enormous pie that is mobile downloadings including music and apps.
Or perhaps like any sensible business they have to guard against being confined to a single market where the rug cannot be pulled out from underneath them at the whim of the sole proprietor?

Does not Sony have a responsibility to the artist it represents to ensure that their music can be purchased any where?
Sony is setting themselves up for a lawsuit.

I'm sure this is just what artists signed up for when they signed a record deal with one of Sonys labels

Real MP3's lower price, Amazon.com, and the Amazon downloader will automatically import songs into iTunes. Need I say more?

Sony should cool down, and think hard about what they may be doing. Pulling out of iTunes is not a good business decision. Do they play to pull out of Amazon? Look at the number of cd stores out there. They are going out of business because of online services. Sony by itself will never be the powerhouse Apple, or Amazon will be. As a general rule, people will buy music tune by tune, or album by album. Paying a subscription is also a dying thing. If I was an artist, and Sony told me they are no longer selling my music in iTunes, but not to worry, they are going to keep me in their unlimited service, and it will be amazing. I would be calling my attorney to get out fo the contract with Sony to join one of the other three. With all the free music, out there, like streaming radio, and others, Sony is very lacking. They think people will come to them because they have the artist. According to one article, if sony pulls out of iTunes, it will be suicide, and amazon will be the big boy on the block. iTunes works well, and makes Sony money. To think we can do better, and make more money, Sony is living a pipe dream. Everytime I hear "we can do it better on our own" that is a sure sign that failure will happen. May be not right away, but it will happen. To make a music service work, you need all the main music services/ or the four big players. You cannot just do it omw you own, and hope the other three will join in. Apple makes them too much money. Think this out sonny. Do not step on the customers that buy your music. It will only be your downfall.

That was a pretty big rant. I'd say they're probably not pulling out of selling on Amazon because Amazon probably doesn't take as large of a cut from the sales as Apple does.

Yep, I think they'll flounder and eventually be dead in the water. Nobody's going to come to them for their artists, especially if it's inconvenient. I mean, really... Who that uses iTunes wants to go to another music service, make a new account, and pay (per song but most likely a subscription) to buy one or two songs. That's bad business. I know I wouldn't. And they're also killing their customer base. How many people have iTunes on their phone? How many of those people use their phone to purchase music?

Just cause you dont get the point ? :lol:
Artists wont lose any money over this cause those who want to buy the music , will buy it one way or another.
I'd like to know , how I qualify as a troll when I am just sharing my personal opinions? :roll: Last I checked thats what this place (comment section) was for. ;)

@Art VanDelay, You hit the nail on the head here. I think the beneficiary of this will be Amazon, or Walmart or one of the other stores for music. People who want a particular artist's music aren't locked into iTunes.

but if you're looking for new music, are you really going to go to walmart to search for Sony artists? who does that?

I don't mind. Apple thinks they are gods and want to control everything. Good for Sony, I don't want Apple to tell me what I want.

This is just capitalist progress - nothing new here - before SONY music there was CBS (records). iTunes will get their rivals eventually and we will be back where we were in the late '80 - only this time it will cover all media - I've accepted that. But at least it ain't as corrupt as the justice system

This coming from a company that is currently engaged in a lawsuit against high school students over a PS3 jailbreak. What a great company Sony is.

In my opinion, both of these companies stand to make a lot more money if they would work together on this venture. Sure it sounds odd to work together with someone you compete with, but Apple can certainly gain by keeping the Sony products available to their customers and Sony can keep benefitting from the customers downloading their stuff through Apple products. Can't we all just get along?

As usual, you're blowing the Sony guy's statements way out of proportion. What he's saying is that Apple has the lion's share of the market in downloadable music, but that if there were a big enough competitor in that market, it would give Sony some leverage in negotiating with Apple. All of that is really obvious. Even if that were to happen, though, as long as Apple has millions of iPods and iPhones out there, Sony would never actually be able to pull all of its catalog from the iTunes store. Absolutely no one who buys music or listens to music cares which recording company produces music content, at all. Therefore, no single major recording company (of the four that are left) has any independent leverage relative to the others. What that means is that no single major recording company can build a competing distribution network, because it would only be able to sell its own recordings - and again, no consumer has loyalty to a recording company of that size. The biggest contenders for downloadable music other than Apple are Amazon and Microsoft. Even in the latter two cases Apple has the advantage with regard to international distribution. So this is all meaningless noise.