UMG Seeks Month-To-Month iTunes Deal
July 11, 2007 at 6:48 AM (PT)
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP is seeking a month-by-month licensing deal with APPLE's ITUNES that would no longer guarantee the online music seller access to all UNIVERSAL content, a person familiar with the negotiations said MONDAY (7/9). The monthly arrangement would allow UNIVERSAL to offer exclusive content deals to rivals of ITUNES, something UNIVERSAL has not been able to do as part of its previous one-year deals, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of ongoing negotiations.
UNIVERSAL currently has monthly deals with several major music retailers, including WAL-MART STORES, BEST BUY and YAHOO, the person said.
UNIVERSAL's previous deal with APPLE expired at the beginning of JUNE (NET NEWS 7/2). APPLE spokesman TOM NEUMAYR said the company was still negotiating with UNIVERSAL. "Their music is still on ITUNES, and their not re-signing is just not true," NEUMAYR said. He declined to elaborate.
The bid by UNIVERSAL represents a break with the way the industry has done business with APPLE, which has grown into the #3 music retailer in the U.S. on the coattails of its IPOD music players. Representatives of the other major record companies, EMI GROUP, WARNER MUSIC GROUP and SONY BMG MUSIC, declined to comment on the status of their deals with APPLE.