A Sony executive has made a thinly veiled threat to remove their catalog from iTunes today. Michael Ephraim, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, told The Age in Australia that “If we do [get mass take-up], then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?” It’s one sentence, but it’s certainly a shot across the bow of Apple Inc.
Ephraim went on,
“Publishers are being held 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.”
We don’t necessarily disagree with Michael Ephraim’s comments, but pulling out of iTunes would be an absolute disaster for Sony, at least in the foreseeable future. Right now, average consumers are buying music through iTunes, and not having your artists represented in iTunes is a big mistake.
Somewhere along the line, the music industry forgot that their primary job is to put their artists in front of the biggest audiences available. Right now that audience is iTunes. Sure, things could change in the future, and other options might go mass-market, but as of today, mass-market means iTunes.
Ask your parents about DRM-free music and see if they can define that for you. Ask them about Grooveshark or Spotify, and you’ll be met with blank stares. Ask them where they get music for their iPod, and they’ll tell you iTunes. iTunes is the mass-market option today.
There’s nothing wrong with Sony exploring their options and looking for the next innovation. That’s smart business on their part. But pretending that iTunes won’t matter in the near future is a joke.
People see iTunes as synonymous with their iPod, iPhone, or iPad, and until that changes, or until Apple’s devices are no longer one of the major devices on the market, iTunes will continue to be a giant in the industry.
Article Via Apple Insider