Sony threatens to leave iTunes

Tim Grey
14 February, 2011
View more articles fromthe author

Sony is signaling its intention to remove its music from iTunes after Apple started a beef by pulling the company’s eBook reader from the app store.

Instead, the company is concentrating on developing its own distribution strategy, launching a music streaming service called Music Unlimited to compete with iTunes, according to an interview in The Age.

”Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold,” Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Michael Ephraim told the paper.

Such a move by Sony, which is the world’s second-largest record company and maintains a sizeable stable of artists, would see music from mainstays such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Strokes and Bob Dylan disappear from iTunes.

The most recent decision follows’ Apple’s rejection of Sony’s reader app, requesting that it be modified to take advantage of Apple’s in-app purchase system. Sony also published a statement saying it has “reached an impasse” with Apple and is now “exploring other avenues to bring the Reader experience to Apple mobile devices.”

Music Unlimited, which is already streaming live to Sony TV’s, PS3s, PSPs and Blu-rays all over Europe, takes advantage of cloud-based system which runs off the company’s own servers.

Apple itself is widely tipped to launch a similar service under the iTunes brand sometime this year.

Image: a still from Bob Dylan’s iTunes commercial


5 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Paul says:

    Sony needs to grow up and if they need to change their app then do it. Threatening to remove their music from iTunes will only turn users like myself away from their artists. Sony your acting like a 2 year old child and need to grow up. Apple if you lose Sony then iTunes will lose a lot of music and make it a poor online music store.

  2. Paul says:

    Oh and is Sony does go down this road then I will NEVER buy another Sony artist again and turn to P2P services, therefore costing Sony and their artists money.

  3. GuaranaBunny says:

    @Paul – Calling out Sony for acting like a “2 year old child” and then threatening to boycott their artists THEN adding a follow up post threatening to resort to piracy of the artists you just suggested you plan on boycotting? Real mature of you…

    If Apple wants to be heavy handed with their rules and restrictions they will reach a point where they become undesirable to other organisations. This seems to be the case now. While I love iTunes I can definitely see it the issue from Sony’s (and other organisations’) perspective.

  4. Eruaran says:

    Actually, Sony’s issues with Apple go back further than this. Steve Job’s worshippers might be critical of Sony (why am I not surprised?), but I watched you folks spout the same attitude when it came to developers who were sick and tired of being jerked around by Apple. Your myopic Apple-worshipping attitude did not stop the exodus of developers to Android, which is now the fastest growing platform. The same could well happen with music in years to come. And who’s to say Sony and others aren’t already talking to Google about a compelling delivery system?

  5. Ian says:

    @Paul – Grow up and stop being so naive.

    If you truly understood the issue, you’d realise that Apple’s stance means that one of four things will happen:

    1. Apple will bow to pressure from content providers and/or legal pressure.

    2. Content providers will swallow the 30% payment to Apple and operate at a loss. This is clearly not tenable.

    3. Content providers will be forced to raise prices for their goods ACROSS THE BOARD. What that means is that you as a Kindle user regardless of whether or not you use an iOS device will be forced to pay about 42% more for your content because Apple won’t allow a two-tiered pricing scheme. Again, not a tenable position.

    4. Content providers will be forced to abandon the iOS platform entirely.

    I think Apple are trying for #3 because what that means is that when it forces all their competitors to raise their prices well above the same prices that can be offered by buying content DIRECTLY from Apple (e.g. iBooks versus Amazon Kindle store).

    I love Apple’s products but I hope they are sued into the ground over this arrogant, greedy purchasing model.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us