Sunday, March 14, 2010

Apple try to stop sales vanishing down the Amazon

According to Hypebot, Apple have started to use their market share to - shall we call it bully? - to bully labels into not taking part in the Amazon Daily Deal.

Alarmed at the prospect of Amazon effectively underwriting the cost of spot promotions on albums, Apple warned labels to not do deals with its rival. Billboard quotes anonymous music industry insiders who claim to have been on the wrong end of Jobs' boys turning up with a "nice artist here, shame if something happened to their visibility on the largest online music store" friendly warning.

If that's true, Apple are running a little out of control.

And Hypebot reckons it has evidence:

But the proof of Apple's tactics and the labels' acquiescence can be found within the [Amazon] Daily Deals themselves.

Gone are most of the new hit makers. There are a fraction of the one day exclusives that there were just a month ago; and the label executives are back to complaining about iTunes instead of helping an alternative compete with them.

It's amusing, though, that the labels are so weak and unable to think things through that they're caving in to Apple and then moaning about Apple's dominance. Perhaps if they said "yeah? Well, how long do you think iTunes would keep market share if you did bury major label content that was being discounted over on Amazon?" then they wouldn't be sat at home wailing about how Apple treat 'em bad.

The positive thing in a dismal story is that if the majors are too frightened to get the subsidised promotion on Amazon, there are plenty of other, smaller labels - labels who could probably benefit from a bit of extra support from Amazon.