Beats Music

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly taking a closer look into Apple’s business practices ahead of the rumored Beats Music relaunch, with DOJ officials having already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits, The Verge reported Monday.

Citing multiple sources, the publication claims that Apple’s “aggressive tactics” have garnered scrutiny from DOJ, which has apparently taken issue with Apple’s push to kill free Spotify streaming ahead of Beats relaunch. If true, the cunning move has the potential to reduce competition for Apple’s music service as popular service like YouTube, Pandora, Rdio and others are also the target.

Spotify, which currently enjoys sixty million listeners, fifteen million of which are paid accounts, stands to lose a lot should Apple have its way.

The Verge has learned that the Cupertino firm has been “using its considerable power in the music industry” to stop the music labels from renewing Spotify’s license to stream music through its free tier.

“All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” an unnamed music industry reportedly told the publication.

“Sources also indicated that Apple offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its songs on YouTube,” reads the story.

Due later this year, the reimagining of Beats Music — presumably under the iTunes umbrella — would give Apple a footing in the hot music-streaming space as the company has for years ignored subscription-based services from the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music.
Just a month ago, the European Union’s Competition Commission began an investigation into these same allegations. Interestingly enough, the European Commission has originally approved Apple’s $3 billion Beats buy.

The Beats overhaul, due at WWDC, is said to feature exclusive content, an Android app and more, with Apple planning on using its brand power and industry contacts to have Taylor Swift and other big name artists promote the forthcoming service.

Industry sources previously said Apple had to back down from its effort to lower monthly pricing for its subscription service to $7.99 from $9.99 because record labels wouldn’t play ball.

Digital music sales have been in a steep decline for the past two years.

Source: The Verge

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Wow really?…I dont like this at all…Sorry but I dont even like the Beats app as it is. If they kill the free Spotify, theres gonna be a lot of pissed off people. Of course…if we download a certain tweak…that will solve our problems…

    • iBanks

      There’s already plenty pissed off people at Apple, what’s a few more? I love Spotify, use it religiously.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        I do as well!

    • Antzboogie

      Apple come on didn’t you learn your lesson with the iBooks what a shame.

  • jp2002

    Steve Jobs way would have been, taking over spotify and integrating it into iOS. Cook may be an expert in supply chain management, but still a rookie in the music industry. Such cheap strategy wouldn’t help them(Apple) in the long run.

    • iBanks

      I think it’s more so Eddie Cue handling the music industry stuff rather than Tim Cook in which Cue has great experience and far from a rookie in handling these things.

  • George

    Hahahahah fk apple and fk musicians, you sit on your millions and you think you deserve more for your autotuned crap.

  • Byron C Mayes

    It’s very interesting to see how this story morphs as it moves from blog to blog. The original story — on Re/code, not the Verge — is pretty explicit that the impetus is coming from the major labels, not Apple. In fact, Universal is in the process of renegotiating its terms with Spotify — totally independent of anything Apple wants or does — and is looking to change the “freemium” model.

    Also, the “target” is not simply “free music streaming” as this article suggests, but free on-demand streaming (the ability to select specifically what you want to hear when you want). For some reason, this article mentions Pandora (neither Re/code nor Verge does), which doesn’t have an on-demand service option at all, free or paid. Who decided to just drop that name in there? Why?

    This will make me question what I read here on other subjects.

  • Haha, typical fkn greedy do*che bags…can’t compete with em, gotta end em.

  • ieatcalcium

    I’m switching to android if this happens. I am so tired of apple. Their software has gotten buggy, laggy, and monopolistic, and their hardware is lacking so each device can make a few extra bucks.

  • xSeriouSx

    Wow, such a filty and corrupt dictator Crapple keeps proving to be…

  • mauihowy

    is this really so surprising?
    Apple is the biggest corporation in the world.
    why would a goliath stop trying to make more profit?

  • Obaid Yasin

    I’m beats Music user and i love it 🙂

    • Soul Less

      Apple is garbage and so are their i-sheep.