Has Jay-Z Got Something Cooking With Apple?
January 3, 2008 at 4:16 PM (PT)
The hottest rumor of the new year, that JAY-Z will start a new label with APPLE, is being met with growing suspicion among other news sources. While it's next-to-impossible as to pinpoint exactly who broke this potential blockbuster story, two sources -- the tech websites THEBOYGENIUSREPORT.COM and ARSTECHNICA.COM -- went so far as to predict that the new label will be announced as early as the MACWORLD EXPO in SAN FRANCISCO later this month.
However, CNBC'S JIM GOLDMAN put a slight damper on the rumor's fire when he analyzed the ramifications of such a move and wrote, "While the deal is interesting, it faces some extremely steep hurdles, not the least of which is how other traditional recording labels would view APPLE's move onto their turf. The company's relationship with them is already tenuous. STEVE JOBS has been a vocal critic of digital rights management and the labels' traditional role as music-material gatekeeper. Still, if JOBS can figure out a way to control content AND distribution, artists could flood his way and he might find himself in the catbird seat. Again.
While the deal is interesting, it faces some extremely steep hurdles
GOLDMAN brought up another potential point of contention: "Do a GOOGLE search of JAY-Z and APPLE and you'll see that these two already have a contentious relationship. APPLEINSIDER pointed this out as well: JAY-Z railed against APPLE's iTUNES a couple of months ago, saying his new album, 'American Gangster,' would not be made available on iTUNES since the service let shoppers buy individual songs instead of the entire album."
At the same time, THEBOYGENIUSREPORT.COM started hedging on its original claim. "When we said APPLE and JAY-Z were starting a record label, it doesn't mean that JAY is running it. It just means they are doing it together. What we think will happen is JAY will be on as an "urban" artist, and APPLE will go out and make similar deals with other rock and country artists. But JAY-Z has 2 albums left at DEF JAM, right? Well, he’s going to develop and attract artists like he did at DEF JAM as president. JAY has the power to get artists on the radio, get them media ops, etc. Having him on board for urban artists is the ultimate stamp of approval, and makes total sense. We see this working as a straight distribution model, with little, but some marketing support."