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Music Media Businesses Apple

Apple Is Now the #1 US Music Retailer 251

Posted by kdawson
from the nose-bleed-ascension dept.
Quantrell writes "A leaked e-mail shows that Apple hit the #1 spot for music sales in January. The article speculates that consumers cashing in their holiday gift cards may have played a role; but of course Wal-Mart and the other retailers sold gift cards too. The news is a mixed bag for the record labels. 'For the music industry, there is a dark side to Apple's ascension to the top of the charts. Buying patterns for digital downloads are different, as customers are far more likely to cherry pick a favorite track or two from an album than purchase the whole thing. In contrast, brick-and-mortar sales are predominantly high-margin CDs.'" We recently discussed Wal-Mart's role in the music business, back when they were selling nearly 20% of US music. For January Apple was at 19% and Wal-Mart at 15%.
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Apple Is Now the #1 US Music Retailer

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  • And that means (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717)
    that this year we have a new #1!

    It's Apple iTunes with DRM Forever!
    • Re:And that means (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Winckle (870180) <mark@@@winckle...co...uk> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:12AM (#22950956) Homepage
      The only reason apple don't offer all their music without DRM is because the record companies won't let them. They are allowing amazon to have DRM free music in order to try and reduce apple's marketshare and thus reduce apple's chips at the negotiation table with the record companies.
      • So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gnutoo (1154137)

        It's nice to see RIAA power fading but Apple is still a digital restrictions enabler. We shall see what they do with their power. Right now, the artist still gets the RIAA shaft from Apple the same as they do any other music store money wise. Has Apple even been able to break the RIAA, "our way or the highway" rule and sell both RIAA music and independent music?

        • Re:So what? (Score:4, Informative)

          by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:33AM (#22951202)
          Has Apple even been able to break the RIAA, "our way or the highway" rule and sell both RIAA music and independent music?

          Apple will sell just about anything. Several talk radio hosts have regular iTunes paid downloads, and none of them have RIAA contracts.
          • by gnutoo (1154137)

            I thought about this for a while and don't like it. Replacing the RIAA with Apple is not the equivalent of creating a free market for music. With digital restrictions, Apple will be in charge in a way that the RIAA was but worse. You say:

            Apple will sell just about anything. Several talk radio hosts have regular iTunes paid downloads, and none of them have RIAA contracts.

            It sounds good, but I can replace the words like this:

            Future_monopoly will sell just about anything. Several talk radio hosts have

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Poltras (680608)
              Except that with Apple you receive 65% of the sales of your songs. Which is better than any RIAA contract, if you are an independent.
        • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

          by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:44AM (#22951318)

          Right now, the artist still gets the RIAA shaft from Apple the same as they do any other music store money wise.

          Actually, artists got it worse. Theoretically artists should have benefited financially from digital downloads but the opposite is occurring thanks to the labels. Apple takes their $0.29 from every $0.99 track to pay for the hosting, distribution, credit card fees, etc. The remaining $0.70 goes to the label to take their cuts before passing the royalties to the artists. However, the labels are taking their cuts as if the sale was a physical medium and are still charging the artists for manufacturing and distribution costs. Manufacturing costs no longer apply, and Apple handles the distribution. But I'm sure somewhere in the fine print of the record deal that allows the label to charge for whatever they want.

          Has Apple even been able to break the RIAA, "our way or the highway" rule and sell both RIAA music and independent music?

          I'm not sure the amount of independent artists that Apple has but a few years ago they signed some major indie labels. [apple.com]

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mbge7psh (633184)

            Apple takes their $0.29 from every $0.99 track to pay for the hosting, distribution, credit card fees, etc. The remaining $0.70 goes to the label to take their cuts before passing the royalties to the artists. However, the labels are taking their cuts as if the sale was a physical medium and are still charging the artists for manufacturing and distribution costs. Manufacturing costs no longer apply, and Apple handles the distribution.

            As a consumer buying something I know to be digital (with presumably lower distribution costs than a physical product), I'd expect at least part of the cost to be passed on to me. Given the choice of a CD or a DRM free digital download for the same price, I'd usually take the CD. Maybe that will change in future when more and more releases become digital only.

            Also, don't forget that a lot of advertising costs can probably be saved using the iTunes store. Consumers get to try before they buy, find track

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            indy artists can use an independent site (like tunecore.com) and keep the 70 cents for themselves. skip the record label, and the bs.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Jason Levine (196982)
            I wonder if they're still taking a cut out for "breakage." For those who don't know, back in the vinyl days many shipped records would wind up broken. There was no good way of accounting for broken vinyl records and not counting those as sales (and thus not paying artists royalties on sales that never happened), so the record labels make some assumptions about the average number of broken records that would result in each shipment. However, when they started shipping CDs, they didn't update the breakage
            • Based on my cynicism, I would say the labels are trying to charge the artists for everything still.
          • Re:So what? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity.sbcglobal@net> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @01:24PM (#22953400) Homepage Journal

            "I'm not sure the amount of independent artists that Apple has but a few years ago they signed some major indie labels."


            Independent artists get what their distributor gives them. If you go through CD Baby, which anyone can do and is non-exclusive, you get about $0.63 per download.

            iTunes sales through CD Baby are very, very favorable to the artist. But then, that's just the way CD Baby's always been.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by SamSim (630795)
            I'm desperately waiting for somebody to create some web application or blog extension which lets you sell your own music online. Buy some hosting, set a per-track price, open a PayPal account, upload the music, start selling. I don't have the know-how or I'd be on this myself.
          • by New_Wave_or_Truth (963885) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @04:35PM (#22956090) Homepage
            I get $0.87 to every $0.99 download, and all I did to get my independently released tracks on iTunes was register with a distributor, who handles it all for only a piece of that 12 cents.
        • I've bought several indy band songs off of iTunes. It's a good place to get indy songs that are normally on vinyl only.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dusty00 (1106595)
        Yes, poor Steve Jobs is caught in the vicious jaws of the music industry... </sarcasm>

        Face it Apple loves DRM. Especially because the RIAA demands it. He gets to pretend he hates DRM to get in good with the consumers but that's exactly what's providing a lock-in to Apple brand media players. If Apple hated DRM as much as is claimed they wouldn't have a problem licensing their DRM out to Microsoft, or Sansa.

        I know that Apple is the best underdog we have to root for against Microsoft but if on
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Apple has the least restrictive DRM on the planet. I've never, ever noticed that it even exists even after making backups and burning my music to CDs. You're whining just to whine, like most Slashdot posters.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by sgladfelter (889576)

          If Apple hated DRM as much as is claimed they wouldn't have a problem licensing their DRM out to Microsoft, or Sansa.

          I don't necessarily disagree with your belief that Apple likes DRM, but you miss one point. Any DRM security goes out the window as soon as it is opened up or licensed to others. If this happens to Apple, the record companies renege on their agreements, Apple has to make up a whole new DRM scheme, and Apple looses market share.

          No, Apple is far better off not opening up their DRM, and it may be for more than one reason.

        • Re:And that means (Score:4, Insightful)

          by wish bot (265150) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @08:21PM (#22958610)
          The problems with kids like you today, is that you can't be bother to find out anything for yourself so you just regurgitate what you hear from your friends.

          If Apple licenced their DRM it would only have the affect of PROMOTING it. Look what's happening now - more and more tacks on iTMS are drm FREE, and will work with any music player you want.
      • by STrinity (723872)
        Too bad for Apple, but the bottom line is that only idiots will go with iTunes over Apple under these conditions.
    • Re:And that means (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Luscious868 (679143) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:51AM (#22951384)

      It's Apple iTunes with DRM Forever!

      You should be thankful for Apple and the fact that they are #1. It's because of Apple that the labels have allowed Amazon to sell MP3's without any kind of DRM whatsoever. If Apple had never gotten such a stranglehold on the digital marketplace, most of the labels would have never allowed Amazon to sell DRM free music. I'm glad that Apple is where it is and I hope that people continue to buy music from them. I won't be among them but as long as Apple keeps doing what it's doing, the labels will allow Amazon and others to sell music without DRM as a counterweight and smart consumers will be able to purchase legit, DRM free music.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I agree. Here's how it goes:

        1. Apple has the market share for MP3 players, namely the ipod.
        2. That makes it impossible to sell music that won't play on the ipod.
        3. Apple refuses to use any DRM scheme but its own, and refuses to let other people use that.
        4. It's impossible for anyone else to sell DRMed music.

        I think that's a good thing. I think Apple has, ironically, killed DRM on music forever.
  • by xTantrum (919048) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:12AM (#22950950)
    I for one am happy with apples gain in sales. it shows that if a satisfactory alternative for music downloads is available customers will pay. more importantly though this "cherry picking" shows the record labels that consumers are tired of the same market drivel and if you give us good content that we like we'll pay.

    i say "one future of music distribution" because i am also leaning towards this idea [arstechnica.com]

    • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:33AM (#22951198)
      "more importantly though this "cherry picking" shows the record labels that consumers are tired of the same market drivel and if you give us good content that we like we'll pay."

      Do you really think it shows that? I don't.

      I think it shows that people are ever more shallow in their music tastes and now only want those one or two big hits, ignoring the rest of the material. How many times have you listened to an album, or an artist's entire catalogue, and come to love one of the b-sides or album tracks more than the one or two big hits? For me it's a lot.

      But then I suppose I'm not buying Britney or whatever the big thing is that the idiot children listen to these days.
      • Opposite for me (Score:3, Interesting)

        by littleghoti (637230)
        I find that I like music in a shallow way when I start to listen to it. After repeated hearing, some of it fades in my enjoyment and some grows.

        iTunes has let me buy single songs from albums and if after repeated listens I still want to hear it, I buy the album. But I will buy the album on a CD rather than a download.

        You pays your money, you takes your choice...
      • I absolutely agree. If the album dies I would sorely miss it. If I only like one song by someone, I'm not going to bother buying it. Not as a single, not as an album. It's not worth it. If I like a handful of the tracks though, I'll definitely buy an album.

        Like you, my favorite songs usually end up being the ones that don't get any radio play. B-sides and other "unreleased" tracks in particular are always faves of mine as well. I've got an entire box set by one artist full of that kind of material and it'
      • by pokerdad (1124121)

        I think it shows that people are ever more shallow in their music tastes and now only want those one or two big hits, ignoring the rest of the material. How many times have you listened to an album, or an artist's entire catalogue, and come to love one of the b-sides or album tracks more than the one or two big hits? For me it's a lot.

        To answer your question, plenty of times; but it pales in comparison to how many times (especially in the last years before I stopped getting my music that way), that I have found there are just one or two songs worth listening to. (and even when there are other songs worth listening to, they are greatly out numbered by drivel that seems to exist only to justify the price I paid)

        Maybe people are more shallow, or maybe the contractual obiligations that come with getting an RIAA label to publish your mus

        • by Nursie (632944)
          All very valid points, I guess it goes both ways.

          More control to the actual artist would be better perhaps.
      • by xRelisH (647464)
        I think it shows that people are ever more shallow in their music tastes and now only want those one or two big hits, ignoring the rest of the material. How many times have you listened to an album, or an artist's entire catalogue, and come to love one of the b-sides or album tracks more than the one or two big hits? For me it's a lot.

        Bullshit. Are you saying that people should be forced to buy the entire album so they listen to the lesser known songs that are possibly very good? If someone wants to try ou
        • by Nursie (632944)
          "Are you saying that people should be forced to buy the entire album so they listen to the lesser known songs that are possibly very good?"

          No. No I'm not. I'm saying it would be a shame if they weren't ever made because the labels figured out that the profits lie in one or two big songs, and that most people wouldn't buy the rest of the album and give it a good listen.

          "Also, more often than not, there are typically only 3-4 good songs on an album (there are exceptions, of course) and most consumers would no
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SamSim (630795)

        I think it shows that people are ever more shallow in their music tastes and now only want those one or two big hits, ignoring the rest of the material. How many times have you listened to an album, or an artist's entire catalogue, and come to love one of the b-sides or album tracks more than the one or two big hits? For me it's a lot.

        I think it's something else entirely.

        The way in which we think about music is completely changing. The notions of albums, singles, B-sides and EPs are disappearing because m

        • by Nursie (632944)
          Oh I agree, formats are no longer relevant in the way they were. I just hope that we don't lose out on a lot of excellent music because it's not the catchy big-number and that's all that's selling now.
    • by philipgar (595691) <pcg2@lehig[ ]du ['h.e' in gap]> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:35AM (#22951968) Homepage
      Remember that this "cherry-picking" of material played on the radio is FAR from being a new phenomena. In fact this used to be the record industries model. They'd play a song on the radio over and over and then consumers would buy the 45 at the store, and listen to it and one other track. Bands also had albums, but often times the albums wouldn't have the single, or just weren't important compared to the singles. Then, after CDs started to dominate, the record industry decided to stop trying to sell singles, and ONLY sell full albums. That way the consumer would be forced to pay the full $15 rather than be able to buy a cheap single. They still kept singles, but added extra b-sides, and charged ridiculous prices ($5-$10), and so they became more of collectors items, before they were basically stopped altogether.

      The industry grew used to being able to bully consumer, and now digital music is forcing them to accept that many consumers want to buy singles again. However, this means that their profits are going to be lower. Possibly on the level of what they used to make before they stopped selling singles.

      For all of this, this does not mean the death of the album. Bands that want to produce albums still will. Most people who truly appreciate music and don't want to hear the stuff on the radio, or whatever their friends like will likely not have a problem finding albums of songs. However, those people are rarely the huge money makers for the industry (there are exceptions). Most of the money makers are the flavors of the week that they market endlessly, and end up selling millions of CDs. This practice of the industry's will end up being hurt as the sales end up being reduced due to "cherry picking".

      Phil
  • Hopfully (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:13AM (#22950962) Homepage
    Now that Apple has replaced Wal-mart as the 1000 pound gorilla in music retail, maybe the company will be able to drag the music industry into the new millennium.
    • by flitty (981864)
      Does this mean that those "Family Groups" will now be petitioning Apple to censor all of it's music it sells? Will Apple become the company that doesn't carry "parental Advisory" albums? Won't someone Please think of the children? I for one, am glad that Someone besides wal-mart is now #1, Even if it is DRM laiden Apple. I like seeing Amazon so high on the list too, since i've bought a couple 320bit drm free albums from them, and was very pleased with my purchase.
      • by Thelasko (1196535)
        I think, for some, the choice between Apple and Wal-Mart is a choice between the lesser of two evils. It's like the two party system of the record industry. Which is worse, DRM or censorship? Sure, you can vote for Amazon, but that would just be throwing your vote away.

        I like the new format. It's very clean looking.
        • Re:Hopfully (Score:5, Informative)

          by AaxelB (1034884) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:30AM (#22951890)

          Sure, you can vote for Amazon, but that would just be throwing your vote away.
          How on earth is it throwing your vote away? It's not a winner-take-all system, you get exactly what you vote for. I vote for DRM-free music from Amazon, a company that I like and has almost never significantly pissed me off. And you know what? I get that DRM-free music from Amazon. It would be like voting third-party if you could only play the music on certain, doomed-to-fail devices, but, once again, it's DRM-free. Apple and Walmart are indeed the two big players, but Amazon is only like a third-party in that they're less well-known (as a digital music retailer).
          • by Thelasko (1196535)
            It was a joke you clearly didn't get. It's funny because I'm pointing out where my analogy ceases to apply.
            • I didn't get the joke either, but I laughed at it the second time I read it. Subtle and funny. A great combination.
            • by AaxelB (1034884)
              Damn it, I feel dumb. Things like subtle sarcasm are hard to catch in plain text. It seemed feasible enough that somebody could post that in all seriousness...
              • by Thelasko (1196535)
                It appears the moderators didn't get it either. You got a "5 informative". I probably should have used <sarcasm> tags. </sarcasm> But I couldn't figure out how to get extrans to work with this comment system. I also must admit I suck at HTML.
          • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
            ..Amazon, a company that I like and has almost never significantly pissed me off.

            Luckily, you can still click once to submit your comment.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by chaim79 (898507)
        They don't need to, Apple has already anticipated this. Parental controls can be setup, kid cannot purchase any music listed as explicit (they do mark such music), or movies rated PG13 or higher (or whatever you set it at). It's not that difficult to setup (naturally for an Apple product) and works well. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302251 [apple.com]
    • by Moonpie Madness (764217) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:20AM (#22951776)
      Aside from a very brief period months ago, all data this year indicates Walmart is the current leader. The headline that Apple is "now" the leader is simply not true, and I don't see how that can go uncorrected, but it probably will. Every tech site picked this up today. Either they all made the exact same (difficult to make) mistake, or this is an advertisement masquerading as news.

      I hope you're right and Apple manages to positively influence the market. Probably some truth to it, but Brick and Mortar is still king.
  • by Chris_Stankowitz (612232) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:14AM (#22950972)

    "The news is a mixed bag for the record labels."

    Not so much a mixed bag as it is further evidence that the RIAAs business model is flawed.

    Here they have the worlds largest brick-and-mortar store and the most influential online music retailers moving ungodly units of their crappy products and still they cry poverty.

    • by mgblst (80109)
      Thanks for that nonsense.

      If they are raking in the profits, how is their Business model flawed??

      What does them crying poverty, have anything to do with their business model??
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:15AM (#22950982) Journal

    'For the music industry, there is a dark side to Apple's ascension to the top of the charts. Buying patterns for digital downloads are different, as customers are far more likely to cherry pick a favorite track or two from an album than purchase the whole thing. In contrast, brick-and-mortar sales are predominantly high-margin CDs.'
    Don't forget that the $1 per song pricing scheme just seems to be something that Steve Jobs decreed from his high perch. I'm not saying I want this but I'll bet the music industry would favor a variable pricing per song to alleviate the cherry picking phenomenon. Frankly, I could care less about the top 40 or flavor of the week singles as that is not something I'd ever want to listen to. But I could see how someone like Britney Spears would feel the punch of fans just getting "Oops, I Did It Again" and not being forced to pay for the filler crap that barely passes as music on the rest of the album.

    Furthermore, Wal-Mart has also done the same thing by basically dictating that it will start selling CDs at $9-$10 or it won't sell them at all. I'm kind of shocked the music industry just sat back and let that happen (even though it joys me to see people able to buy Beatles albums at a decent price). I mean, why should Wal-Mart be able to dictate MSRP? Oh, that's right, they are the all-encompassing Wal-Mart ... they probably dictate how much I pay for milk at the local grocery store some how.

    Either way, I find it humorous that what seems to be a 'dark side' for the RIAA is actually beautiful for the end consumer. I wish the RIAA would step back and look at how they could maximize profits now that distribution could be digital. Would I still be spending ~$20 a month on music if each song were ten cents? No, I'd probably go nuts and be spending $50 a month and I bet people that spend no money on music would start to slowly $5 or $10 for some popular albums. Just a though, I really wish they would look more at maximizing profits by lowering cost on something that can be copied for free and distributed cheaply.
    • by PackMan97 (244419)

      Furthermore, Wal-Mart has also done the same thing by basically dictating that it will start selling CDs at $9-$10 or it won't sell them at all. I'm kind of shocked the music industry just sat back and let that happen (even though it joys me to see people able to buy Beatles albums at a decent price). I mean, why should Wal-Mart be able to dictate MSRP? Oh, that's right, they are the all-encompassing Wal-Mart ... they probably dictate how much I pay for milk at the local grocery store some how.

      Wal-Mart is

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I mean, why should Wal-Mart be able to dictate MSRP?
      That is not an example of Wal-Mart dictating Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, the are dictating Retail Price in their stores and nowhere else. You know exactly the same way every one else dictates the retail price in their own outlet. Retail price is what I decide to sell an item at, MSRP is what the Manufacturer claims their item is worth .
    • Don't forget that the $1 per song pricing scheme just seems to be something that Steve Jobs decreed from his high perch. I'm not saying I want this but I'll bet the music industry would favor a variable pricing per song to alleviate the cherry picking phenomenon.

      I think Apple's stance is fixed pricing is better for them as their business is far simpler with fixed prices. Variable pricing makes their accounting alone a lot more complex. Also it makes it easier on the consumer. The downside to variable pr

      • The other thing that struck me as strange about the parent's post is that this pricing scheme the RIAA is suggesting is exactly the opposite of the way manufacturing usually works. That is, higher volume usually means lower pricing because the engineering and startup costs are smaller per unit. So if the latest and greatest pop song is selling like hot cakes, it should cost less, not more. For an electronic song, given that the bandwidth costs are small per unit, the big costs are going to be the product
    • Would I still be spending ~$20 a month on music if each song were ten cents? No, I'd probably go nuts and be spending $50 a month
      I'm guessing you're in the minority of people that believe there are 500 new songs to buy every month. As for me and my wife, if each song were 10 cents, we'd pay maybe 50 cents per month.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Speare (84249)

      Frankly, I could care less about the top 40 or flavor of the week singles as that is not something I'd ever want to listen to. But I could see how someone like Britney Spears would feel the punch of fans just getting "Oops, I Did It Again" and not being forced to pay for the filler crap that barely passes as music on the rest of the album.

      Not that I'm a Britney fan, but let's build on this logic. I'll simplify the numbers for the discussion.

      The price is $12 for album B. If they make it available separately, the price is $2 for the mega-hit cut three or B3, and the price is also $2 for the lame stinkers B1, B2, B4, B5... B8. In aggregate, buying B is cheaper than buying B1...B8 a la carte. However, if buying B is the only way to get B3, and nobody wants the other cuts, then the value proposition is too low. The labels decry this sort

    • by xtracto (837672)
      Would I still be spending ~$20 a month on music if each song were ten cents? No, I'd probably go nuts and be spending $50 a month and I bet people that spend no money on music would start to slowly $5 or $10 for some popular albums

      Funny you say that. I have never spent a penny in online music until Allofmp3 came along (it seems so long ago...). It was just so easy to put like 10 dollars and then download a lot of music at really good quality... at BETTER quality than illegal p2p releases.

      Unfortunately, the
    • by meatspray (59961)
      The music industry is one of the few industries that get away with this.

      If you went to the grocer and wanted to buy a couple of oranges only to find out you need to buy the tree with all it's oranges and discover there are only two edible fruits on it, you'd be outraged. Sorry eggs only come in sterling silver 12 packs with 10 cracked.

      Sure you occasionally have to buy multi-packs of things, but they're generally of equal quality.

      Digital delivery lets you buy what you want. It will eventually win.
  • by quo_vadis (889902) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:21AM (#22951042) Journal
    As of Feb 26 2008 iTunes is the #2 retailer in the US. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/02/26itunes.html [apple.com]

    What the article is talking about is a 1 week period in January (most likely caused by all the people using their Christmas gifts of iTunes gift cards) where the store sold more music. Overall though, it still remains number two.
    • by mgblst (80109)
      I think they should restrict the period to just Christmas day. Surely even Walmart isn't open on Christmas day, and even if they were so scummy, most people would stay away.

      So that would be 10million to 0.
      • by c_forq (924234)
        I actually think they are open on Christmas. You know not everyone is a Christian and celebrates Christian holidays. In addition there are some people not close/disowned from their families, and doing something productive (like working) is way better for their mental health than staying home alone. Wal-Mart employs a lot of people, I'm sure they can find people willing to work Christmas day at almost any location.
  • Uh-oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:27AM (#22951124)
    Apparently the concept of the market rejecting DRM is overblown?
  • by EMeta (860558)
    The part that I don't get is why the labels aren't offering to Apple, and thus Apple to its customers album discounts. Sell me an entire Regina Spektor album for the $6 or $7 and I'll gladly pay for it, instead of otherwise buying 4 tracks individually. At that point it's pure profit for everyone involved. I might still buy the one song on it I like, play it more find out I really really like, and buy the whole album--with that song again.

    I don't want the album to go away. I think it's a great conc
    • by jamus (1439)

      As an aside, I'd appreciate iTunes letting me easily select blocks of music I could keep in the same order, even when listening to randomized music. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" should always be followed by "With a Little Help from My Friends" (and maybe the album's entirety).

      I stumbled across this yesterday, and I haven't had a chance to try it out personally.

      Maybe put the songs you want played together in the same grouping, then change your shuffle preferences to shuffle by grouping?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rude Turnip (49495)
      Albums are discounted to an extent. For any album with more than 10 tracks, you're still paying $9.99 (with few exceptions) for the album. If you download a few tracks and want the whole thing later, you do not pay for the same tracks twice. It used to be that way on iTMS and it was as annoying as hell. Sometime in the last year or two, iTMS was updated to let you "fill out" the rest of the album.

      As for you second comment...you can use playlists to keep albums in order. When you want to randomize playb
      • by cowscows (103644)
        That's true, but that only helps if someone was planning on buying the whole album anyways (or the majority of it). If the fears of the music industry is that people will only cherry pick the best song or two and ignore the rest, $8 more is a lot of extra money for a bunch of songs that I don't really want, be it ten songs, or even fifteen songs. But make it just a few bucks more, and it starts reaching impulse territory.

        For a few bucks, I'll take the risk of buying a bunch of crap because there's probably
    • by STrinity (723872)

      The part that I don't get is why the labels aren't offering to Apple, and thus Apple to its customers album discounts. Sell me an entire Regina Spektor album for the $6 or $7 and I'll gladly pay for it, instead of otherwise buying 4 tracks individually.

      Albums with more than 10 songs do get that discount; those with less do occasionally as well. Of course, her albums are less than that on Amazon, and DRM free.

      As an aside, I'd appreciate iTunes letting me easily select blocks of music I could keep in the sa

  • Here's how to tell which is which.

    If the goal is to make it the same every time it's played, it's a recording.

    If the goal is to make it different every time it's played, it's music.

    • by Animats (122034)

      If the goal is to make it different every time it's played, it's music.

      So if you feed the MIDI track into a drum machine with drum hit randomization, it's music?

  • Maybe this will lead to a return of the concept album. In other words and album where all the songs are actually related and designed to tell a single story. Well, maybe not.

    I compare it to TV, where I think maybe the reason why serials are more popular nowadays is because there is so little time left for the story after the commercial that shows that are just one big long story (like Lost or Heroes) make more sense than trying to do a simple hour long drama.

    If I were in the music industry, I'd be doi

  • by Pope (17780)

    Buying patterns for digital downloads are different, as customers are far more likely to cherry pick a favorite track or two from an album than purchase the whole thing

    Isn't that the whole figgin' point? If you know there's only 1 or 2 tracks you want from an album, the absence of cheap singles like back in the vinyl days makes digital the clear winner.

    CD singles were a joke: when albums were $8.99, a 45 was $1 to $1.49, and gave you the hit and generally a non-album B-side. When a CD album is $15.99, t

  • I have about $140(USD) left in iTunes gift cards and I'm not even buying stuff from Apple. All told I've spent perhaps $35 buying music for my gifted iPod.

    For a guy self nicknamed LoudMusic you'd think I'd be more into music technology, but I just don't get it. I own an iPod and I don't use it.
  • by NiceGeek (126629) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:57AM (#22952276)
    Have you heard of iTunes Plus? No? Then investigate it and then kindly STFU.
  • by lancejjj (924211) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @01:19PM (#22953324) Homepage
    One huge reason for Walmart's fall is their unthinkable lack of choice. If you want the top 100 pop songs from the last five years, or the top 100 pop songs from the past 20 years, then Walmart is for you. Otherwise, the only choice seems to be on-line services, like Apple's wildly popular iTunes.

    Apple's sales are so high because it is simply selling a lot of music that isn't available in any Walmart - the recording industry has no idea how to sell less popular tracks in a brick-and-mortar store. So they go unsold. Stupid.

    No wonder Walmart is thinking less and less of the recording industry.

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