Paris – The head of Universal Music Group parent company Vivendi has called the contract terms for Apple's iTunes Store "indecent," and echoed calls from other major labels for variable pricing of songs from the retailer, Reuters reported.
"The split between Apple and (music) producers is indecent … Our contracts give too good a share to Apple," Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters in France on Monday.
"We should have a differentiated price system," Levy added, referring to a desire [...]. one comment
London – Richard Branson's Virgin Group has announced that it will shutter its Virgin Digital online music service.
The company stopped accepting new customers on Friday, and is set to close for all customers on Oct. 19.
Virgin Digital offered a subscription service featuring songs encoded in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, which came with digital rights management (DRM) and could not be played on Apple's iPod.
The company did not provide an explicit reason for the store's closing, [...].
Seattle – Online retail giant Amazon.com on Tuesday announced the beta launch of Amazon MP3, a digital music store that offers over 2 million DRM-free tracks, more than a million of which are priced at 89 cents.
Amazon said the top 100 best-selling songs will usually feature the 89 cent price point, and the top 100 best-selling albums will usually cost $8.99.
Most albums at the store will cost between $5.99 and $9.99.
Amazon MP3 launches with support from two [...]. 2 comments
New York – The former drummer of legendary punk band the Ramones has filed suit against his music publisher, as well as online retailers iTunes, Wal-Mart and RealNetworks, over the alleged unauthorized distribution of six Ramones songs he wrote between 1983 and 1987, Billboard reported.
Former Ramones drummer Richard Reinhardt (aka Richie Ramone) said that no music publishing agreement signed at the time authorized distribution on such digital services.
He is seeking over $900,000 in damages and unpaid royalties, [...].
Seattle – Starbucks announced on Monday that it will give away over 50 million free "Song of the Day" downloads from Apple's iTunes Store, in conjunction with the launch of its partnership with Apple to offer free Wi-Fi access to the store in its cafes.
Between Oct. 2 and Nov. 7, Starbucks will give away 1.5 million Song of the Day cards each day at more than 10,000 locations; each day's song will be "hand-selected by Starbucks Entertainment," the company [...].
Los Angeles – News Corp.'s Fox will offer free downloads of the premiere episodes of many of its fall television shows from Apple's iTunes Store.
The first episodes of "Back to You," "K-Ville," "Kitchen Nightmares," "Prison Break," "Bones," "American Dad" and "'Til Death" will be posted the day after their broadcast debut, and remain available for free download for two weeks thereafter.
Fox's deal with Apple comes in stark contrast to NBC's recent ill-fated negotiations with the company, which resulted [...]. one comment
New York – NBC Universal has announced plans to offer many of its TV shows for free download to PCs for a week following their initial broadcasts.
The NBC Direct service, set to launch in November, will offer shows like "Heroes," "The Office" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
The service will come with several restrictions.
Downloaded TV shows will only be viewable on Windows-based PCs, and will expire after seven days; users also won't be able to fast-forward [...].