Apple Admits That Fewer Artists Are Releasing Music on iTunes…

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Not releasing on iTunes used to be suicide.  But maybe artists are reconsidering that outlook.  From the Code Conference this morning, where Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics was officially announced…

 Walt Mossberg (interviewer): Apple has already made a huge mark on music, Jimmy [Iovine] has made a huge mark on music.  Now that you’re unified, what are the possibilities?

Eddy Cue (head of Apple Music): First of all, both Dre and Jimmy have an incredible ear for sound.  As Jimmy mentioned for curation, you have to know what the next song is. Bringing curation is important to music.

“Music is dying in the way that we know it.  It hasn’t been growing in the way that we want it to. You see it in the number of artists. This past year in iTunes, it’s the smallest number of new releases we’ve had in years.”


30 Responses

  1. jw

    >> No releasing on iTunes used to be suicide. But maybe artists are reconsidering that outlook.

    I think this is more a case of the novelty of recording a record in Garage Band & releasing it on iTunes wearing off. People are realizing that it’s not the path to stardom that it might’ve seemed to be.

    I wouldn’t assume this is about competing services like bandcamp or physical-only releases.

    • Anonymous

      “People are realizing that it’s not the path to stardom that it might’ve seemed to be”

      No, they are realizing they can’t make a living from music anymore.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Yeah, it could be that the shine has simply worn off on iTunes, 11 years later. Your putting a drop into the ocean; it’s not a path without a lot of other things happening around it.

      Strange that this signifies that ‘music is dying’.

      • ANnonymouse

        Two dumb posts in a row about Apple. Cue isn’t talking about volume of releases into iTunes, he’s talking about the # of viable new releases that are selling. It’s a shit first half of the year for the industry release-wise, just ask any label.
        Slow news day?

  2. Anonymous

    “Music is dying in the way that we know it”

    I wonder if they’re talking about music or about themselves.

    Iovine and Dre have this in common with Apple: It’s a long, long time since they did anything interesting…

  3. TuneHunter

    Mirror image of Spotify Turbo-Napstering.

    • Just a Fan

      Difference between Spotify and Napster: You actually knew people who used Napster.

      • TuneHunter

        Napster was very primitive with no discovery on board almost always on your desktop.

        Spotify will give you everything at anyplace at the click of the button – even super premium at $9.99 does not justify such an ass kissing activity.

        • Anonymous

          I am not surprised – IT IS ALMOST PERFECT (just short of few stubborn and stupid stars) FOR CONSUMER.

          From the point of view of MONETIZATION IT’S IDIOTIC to investors and musicians betrayed by LABELS.

      • Versus

        I know many people who use Spotify.

        I even use it to check out albums. If I like the album, though, then I buy it, ideally in lossless format on BandCamp. Possibly on vinyl as well.

    • Jeff Robinson

      Venture Capitalists are squandering their opportunity.

      Devaluing content will be their demise.

      Their greed will be their achilles heal.

      Seeing Jimmy Iovine interviewed over the past few days, it’s clear he is grasping at straws- hoping to have the tech industry help the music industry once again, but the entire balance has shifted with the advent of streaming.

      • Anonymous

        “hoping to have the tech industry help the music industry once again”

        Last time I checked it was the other way around:

        Apple made billions from music. The piracy industry made billions from music. Google makes billions from all kinds of borrowed or stolen content — without ever making any of its own.

        Tech is dead without content…

    • Anonymous

      “I blame tech blogs”

      Whatever for? 🙂

  4. mayhem

    I hope people are finally getting sick of cheezy sounding MP3s

  5. 40 Year Radio Vet

    Music is life. Music is not dying. Humans will produce music with or without compensation. It what we teach our children and our grandchildren. We urge schools to put music programs back in school, because the science says it’s beneficial to learning at all stages of life. LIFE is music as MUSIC is life … Music is not dying.

    And no, no one is tired of cheesy sounding MP3 files, anymore than they were tired of shitty sounding cassettes or eight tracks or 78RPM or 45RPM records.

    Hi-Fidelity among the masses is a myth I wish we could stop spreading.

    • TuneHunter

      I agree with you, music is brilliant.

      Let’s convert all Radio to music stores and make some serious money.

      There’ll be more brilliant music if part-timers and undiscovered stars will take music as a full time activity.

  6. Anonymous

    Music isn’t dying…it is being controlled and manipulated by the music industry who only produce and promote what they “think” sells. It isn’t about finding new , talented artists anymore it is about how much money they can make off the artist. The real talent is out there but is being ignored by the mainstream. People should go out and start going to live music events for local artists…you will be surprised how talented some of these people really are but they are going unnoticed.

    • FarePlay

      A. hard to believe you’re saying this a DECADE later. Blaming it on the labels further proves your distance from reality.

  7. mdti

    There’ll be more brilliant music if part-timers and undiscovered stars will take music as a full time activity.

    How can it be full time if it does not pay the rent and the extras and all that a real paid job brings?
    it can’t be full time, it can only be at night, after the “day job” and as long as friends and family are (non existent) leaving enough time for you. But at some point, this musician got to get a life.

  8. Mike McCready - CEO Music Xray

    At first the web muddied the waters. But increasingly, bands / songwriters / performers are shown the level of competition. It’s fierce. Only the best of the best get deals & fans. The rest have little choice but to get better and only a few are willing/able to put in the time & effort. Thus, fewer releases. As the industry develops the tools to identify the needles in the haystack there are fewer rationalizations bands can make as to why they aren’t getting traction. It’s harder to say, “I didn’t get heard.” “We didn’t get a fair shake.”

    It’s not true. They did get heard. They did get a fair shake. They just got out-competed. With no where to turn they either have to put in the real work or go do something else.

    • mdti

      Hi CEO,

      I like your post, but it is also a matter of fashion. It is not a matter of being the best (at what?). Time and effort , ok, but not necessarily into music skills. For example, is Psy better than Steve Stevens ? is 1Direction better than loreena mc kenitt ?

      Web or not web, there are 2 things: 1/ music, and 2/ show business.
      We also know that the decision to sign an artist is not entirely based on the music quality (which is said to be 10% of the decision).

      So it is not as easy and obvious as you write.

      Even on music x ray, it is not a matter of being the best, but it is a matter of delivering something that conforms to the request of the announcer.

    • hippydog

      Quote “It’s not true. They did get heard. They did get a fair shake. They just got out-competed. With no where to turn they either have to put in the real work or go do something else.”

      I somewhat agree with that, yes there is a large element of truth in what you say,
      but in my personal opinion (i have nothing to cite or show as fact)
      I think its a lot more complicated..

      The “noise” is a lot louder then it used to be, and at the same time there is a much bigger disconnect between the artist and the avg consumer.. (and this is in-spite of the fact that an artists can be more ‘connected’ then they ever were)

      Maybe another way i can say it is; the traditional ‘gatekeepers’ are being pushed aside, but nothing has really replaced the curation those ‘gatekeepers’ provided

    • Wayne C. Smith -DiVergent Music Group

      Adding to Mike’s comment are the following and it will always be this way:

      Relevant content to the audience that is listening/buying. Music too “eclectic” in the stream may not get beyond a “niche” buyer/fan group.

      Marketing strategy that focuses on the needs of the consumer/fan.

      Assembling a trustworthy Team that can accomplish much in behalf of the Artist/Band

  9. no name

    If you want to make music, then make it. I used to think that having to do it part time in order to pay the rent was a drag but what I’ve realized is that doing it that way gives you the freedom to create whatever you want, when ever you want. You don’t have to take shitty gigs that pay next to nothing to pay the rent because you already have a real job. The music making part of your life is a gift and if you’re doing it for the sole purpose of making money, then you’re doing it wrong and it will show in your craft.

  10. Bb

    Not sure addition makes me human (to verify), but let’s face it – why bother spending your life energy trying to make a living creating music with recording, only to have a generation of people who think you should do it for free since it is so easy to copy, it must have been easy to create.

    The marketing mantra of “magic” creates a false impression for the non musician that’s it a gift that you don’t work at, so no wonder they think that way.

    The good side is music really is about playing and hearing it LIVE. Every real musician should not worry so much about recording and play for real, that’s where music truly lives anyway! Live LIVE!