Apple's iTunes to sell rival Sony's Japanese songs

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  • -1

    2020hindsights

    Earlier this year, Sony Music Entertainment allowed songs by its Western artists to be sold on Apple’s online store, after reportedly keeping them away for years.

    Finally. I don't mean Japanese artists, but Western artists. You could get Bob Dylan (Columbia, i.e. Sony) in the US for years, but not in Japan until earlier this year. With Sony losing so much money you would think it would want to get their songs sold. Nobody's buy CDs anymore, so if it's not available people will download it for free.

  • -10

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    I still buy CDs.

  • -11

    theResident

    I still buy CD's. In fact CD sales in the US have risen for the last two years - Sales of CD's still outstrip legal downloads 2020hindsights, but then I note that you refer to free downloads, denying a: artists of being able to record new music and b: the rest of us being able to listen to new music. You are a thief, nothing more, nothing less.

  • 2

    combinibento

    Well perhaps they wanted folks to buy CDs, but just imagine how much they could have earned had by now had they jumped on the iTunes bandwagon years ago.

  • 1

    onedragon

    They are to far behind the curve on this one. Streaming is the new wave.Soon purchasing downloads will be a thing of the past.

  • 6

    Peter Payne

    Sony, doing in 2012 what they should have done in 2003.

    As a person who has been known to sell a few iTunes Japan cards to people living overseas, I applaud this however

  • -3

    smithinjapan

    "... in an apparent strategy shift by the Japanese firm to cash in on soaring demand for online music."

    Ummm... how long has music been available online?

    TheResident: "but then I note that you refer to free downloads, denying a: artists of being able to record new music and b: the rest of us being able to listen to new music. You are a thief, nothing more, nothing less."

    I don't seem to recall hindsight2020 saying HE himself downloaded free music, he just stated the fact that some people will as an alternative to paying extremely high costs and when they have ONLY CDs as an option -- and a poor one at that.

    And if you think downloading music for free really affects that musicians you are kidding yourself. They get the majority of their money from live concerts, and get the amount agreed upon in the contract for an album (unless they are new artists and are just up and coming, when contracts often depend on sales). Yeah, they lose a WEE bit in royalties, but again, the lion's share of their money comes from live performances. It's the middle-man, or production companies, who suffer from free downloads, and hence they are the ones who push for tougher laws, not the artists.

  • 1

    hoserfella

    I still buy CDs.

    Korlacan Khanthavilay - So you pay through the nose for something most everyone else gets for a fraction of the price and in a much less convenient form.

    I wouldn't quite want to advertise that...

  • 2

    nagoyaslim

    Sony are greedy bastards.....they had no sense of anything but past business practices. The lack of foresight, which is unusual for a Japanese company, has doomed their potential.

  • -3

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    If I buy every song, it ends up being the same price anyways. Not to mention, I can resell what I have. It's not tied to some account. Also I can sell it for about 80-90% the original price whenever I decide to actually sell it. So long as the case, cd, pamphlet, obi, and possible photo card are in good condition. A few of the CDs I can actually resell for 150% of the original cost.

    But hey, you keep paying for your downloaded music.

  • -1

    hoserfella

    Korlacan - like 99% of the modern world, I use free downloading sites. As for your claim of re-selling used CDs in this day and age, let alone for a profit; sure, and I'm the tooth fairy!

  • 0

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    So Mr. Tooth Fairy steals music.

    Also look up Hello! Project and see that many fans buy/sell those CDs all the time. Facebook groups like Idol!Swap are great places to buy/sell used CDs. At least for the genre of music I buy.

  • -3

    basroil

    2020hindsightsNov. 08, 2012 - 03:31PM JST

    With Sony losing so much money you would think it would want to get their songs sold. Nobody's buy CDs anymore, so if it's not available people will download it for free.

    Considering apple takes a 30% or more chunk of everything, it might have actually been cheaper for sony to let songs be pirated and drive up CD sales. Now that piracy fell off a cliff along with personal rights, sony has no qualms, and in fact needs alternative download places to get people interested in their albums.

  • 1

    basroil

    smithinjapanNov. 08, 2012 - 06:01PM JST

    Yeah, they lose a WEE bit in royalties, but again, the lion's share of their money comes from live performances. It's the middle-man, or production companies, who suffer from free downloads, and hence they are the ones who push for tougher laws, not the artists.

    Japan still does the sells CDs crap actually. Live perfomances aren't real money makers for most groups, and actually meant to drive up other sales. There's a reason for those 3000 yen cds, albeit not a good one.

  • -1

    Livvie

    Sales, CD or iTunes or otherwise are still important to an artist's livelihood. It cost money to tour, to hire the musicians and feed them, book rehearsal studios for weeks at a time, hire people to rig the lights, set up and tear down the sets, to pay for the hotels, to print the tickets and promote the show. Once the build a fan base and those fans start coming to shows on a regular basis then the artist can begin to make money off ticket sales. But the bigger the production, the smaller that profit margin gets. Nowadays record companies are not willing to put much money towards a major tour unless they know that the artist is selling. Once they know that people are buying their work then the record company will sign the cheques. Which means if people aren't buying the music or corporations aren't willing to use that artist's music in commercials, etc., they won't have the money they need to put on the show they want. It's even more important when that artist is independant and there is no middle man.

    Anyway it's about time Sony opened up and started offering their music on iTunes and other outlets. I think not doing so hurt their business and their image a bit.

  • 4

    PhantomPhoneix

    I used to work for the record industry and they are notorious for being slow on adapting new technology. Remember how everyone said the VHS would be the death of the movie industry lol. The reason you don't hear more artists speak up is because they are bound by contracts!! Many of which I know are waiting for the day of expiration and they sever their relationship with the RIAA and go on their own. Not sure what Japan's governing music body is but I doubt it is much better the RIAA. With the internet it's a lot easier for artists to reach the consumer directly and get more of the money they deserve. That is what the RIAA truly fears, the internet itself. They fear it will decentralize the music industry. Which in all reality, the sooner that happens the better. There is a friend of my wife which has a Japanese band. He admits he was a prisoner under his Japanese record label. They control everything we do and we have very little say in how and in what way our music reaches our fans. I recently spoke with him and he said now they sell far more through i-tunes then they had sold CD's for an entire year lol.

    He is currently working on a US tour which their record label never allowed before. Another thing to consider is that most artists singed under a major label like SONY don't have rights to their music. Most of the royalties that come from CD's & concerts also go to everyone but the artists themselves. They receive very little of those royalties. Record Labels (or their supporters) continued to peddle the line than no artist could succeed without them or record anything better-sounding than a bedroom-made demo without an advance long after that position ceased to have any credibility. Shows you how little they know lol. They've undermined their stated role as a quality filter by releasing an awful lot of lowest-common denominator dross. Doing this at a time when people actually cared about music. Not to mention their are far better acts who didn't get signed then ones that do. Finally, they've alienated many, many music fans by lobbying governments to pass draconian laws to stop the internet moving their fluff, rather than adapt their business models to fit the times.

    Had the major labels been more forward-thinking a decade ago, illicit file-sharing would not have become the problem it did, and iTunes wouldn't have eaten their lunch. For an independent artist, the threshold of fan-base they need for their music to be economically viable is far smaller than the traditional record company setup. I know at least 2 artist friends who turned down record deals because they didn't believe a record company could expand their audience enough to justify sharing earnings with them. They would be making less money than would be as independent artists. While I praise SONY for finally opening up a bit. I have much less confidence in an industry which seems to be making all he wrong decisions. I am sure they all wished the internet never existed but it does. For that you either learn to adapt or you go down with the titanic. This might explain why so many Japanese artists aren't available on i-tunes outside Japan. It certainly isn't the artists as there are plenty which would like things to change.

    As one of my closest musician friends put it. "It's shocking and humbling to see the support of our fans, but it's also evidence of a new era of the fan/artist relationship." "Why should a band pay thousands of dollars to middle-men?" Fans know what they like, and no matter how the labels whine about the death of music as a business. It's obvious that people WILL pay to support the artists they believe in and that they WON'T pay if they aren't sufficiently engaged. Is the industry dying? Is music unsustainable now that the masses can acquire it for free with little or no effort? From where I'm sitting, it's hard to understand that argument. If the industry (SONY, BMG, EMI, Universal) can't find a way to fit into the relationship artists have with their fans. Then they will find themselves on the outside looking in and I can't say I'll miss them much. At least SONY seems to be making some effort which is more then I can say for others, AVEX anyone? It's an interesting time to be an indie musician. :)

  • -1

    hoserfella

    Korlacan - "stealing" is charging suckers 25-30 bucks for a cd. I'll support a artist where they make real money; live performances.

  • 0

    2020hindsights

    2020

    With Sony losing so much money you would think it would want to get their songs sold. Nobody's buy CDs anymore, so if it's not available people will download it for free.

    theResident

    denying a: artists of being able to record new music and b: the rest of us being able to listen to new music. You are a thief, nothing more, nothing less.

    Hmmm. I said that if they don't make it available people will download for free.

    And you are accusing me of being a thief. Wow.

    Let's take a case in point. I wanted to buy a Bob Dylan album a year ago. Go to iTunes: not available. Go to HMV store I used to go to. Closed. In fact almost all HMV stores are closed in Japan. Eventually I gave up and finally it was available on iTunes.

    Instead of whining about illegal downloads, make your stuff available where people can buy it.

    KK

    In fact CD sales in the US have risen for the last two years

    Wrong. They have been decreasing.

  • 1

    wipeout

    If you buy from iTunes, that's great, it's a convenient format for distribution and obviously a lot of people wouldn't consider buying their music any other way. But it's far too early to say that CDs are dead or that no one buys them any more. Last year, global CD sales were at $10 billion

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/global/ifpi-2012-report-global-music-revenue-down-1006571352.story

    and until numbers like that have dwindled away almost to nothing, CD is going to remain a viable format for buying recorded music.

  • 1

    hoserfella

    wipeout - global sales may have been at $10 B (a paltry number when u think about global sales) but fell 15% from the year before according to The Guardian news site.

    CDs are going the way of the 8 track tape

  • 0

    Serrano

    Hoser - Please don't tell me CDs are going the way of cassette tapes - I still use both!

  • -1

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    @hoserfella

    No, stealing is taking something that isn't yours. Companies set a price. It's up to the consumer to purchase it or not. If the company charges to much, the consumers won't buy. This will end up leading to the lowering of prices to the point where consumers will make the purchase.

    It really doesn't matter what the prices of the CDs are either, nothing gives you the right to steal it. You also complain about the price, yet many have already stated that online purchases of the music is cheaper. Especially in Japan where an album is half the cost in digital form, than CD form. Yet you still steal it.

    You state that you'll support an artist where they make real money. Live performances. So you simply deny all the work they did to put out a CD? Their time sitting in a studio recording, rerecording, etc. Guess what? They make real money at live performances. They also happen to make real money on CDs too. Unless you think the money from their CD sales isn't useable anywhere. Just toy money.

    @2020hindsights

    I didn't say CD sales were rising. You misquoted.

  • 0

    wipeout

    global sales may have been at $10 B (a paltry number when u think about global sales) but fell 15% from the year before according to The Guardian news site.

    Yes they fell, but there is no way that $10 billion in sales is a paltry sum. Foolish talk.

  • 1

    hoserfella

    korlacan - cry me a river. file sharing is already fully ingrained and is giving even better exposure to smaller acts. And seeing as how record labels have been forced to lower their hugely inflated CD prices, you actually owe people like me a "thank you".

  • 0

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    @hoserfella

    How exactly do I owe you a "thank you"? The CDs I buy are priced no different than it was 10 years ago. Actually, they're higher today, but that's due to inflation. Pretty much same price.

    If you're talking about crappy American music, sure, Those prices are cheaper, but that wasn't so much about pirates. It was about price fixing. Companies got sued, lost, and prices had to get dropped. A few years later, CD prices dropped again, cause now you had online music stores taking away from CD sales.

    Thank you? Hardly.

  • -1

    basroil

    wipeoutNov. 09, 2012 - 09:51PM JST

    Yes they fell, but there is no way that $10 billion in sales is a paltry sum. Foolish talk.

    When copyright laws were last changed in the US, the recording industry said they lost $58 billion in the US market alone. Pretty pathetic to sell $10 billion if you expect to sell $100 billion (and no, they really haven't lost that much, they made a few hundred million more in profits than lost CD sales thanks to legal downloads, but nobody will ever understand copyright math anyway).

  • 0

    wipeout

    Pretty pathetic to sell $10 billion if you expect to sell $100 billion...

    No one has ever sold $100 billion.

    The figures here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_industry

    say that the highest year for music sales was 1999. Revenues for recorded music (all formats) in the US were 14.6 billion.

    Whatever the rate of decline, companies will continue to sell recorded music in a variety of formats (because iTunes doesn't suit everyone) while music sales remain a multibillion dollar market. Companies don't walk away from billions of dollars, even if it's a fraction of what they used to make. And if the companies today don't survive, others will come in to take up the slack. Record companies big and small have been going out of business for the last hundred years.

    As for CD going the way of 8-track, it's more likely to decline severely until it occupies a niche, as vinyl has done. Because unlike 8-track, it has been a mainstream technology for 30 years, disc-based players of all types (Blu-ray etc) retain backwards compatibility with it, it was adopted across the world, and it delivers most of what it promised - chiefly durability, ease of use, and high-quality sound. 8-track provided none of those.

  • 0

    hoserfella

    How exactly do I owe you a "thank you"? The CDs I buy are priced no different than it was 10 years ago. Actually, they're higher today, but that's due to inflation. Pretty much same price.

    So you are STILL paying between 20-30 bucks for CDs? Not smart. Meanwhile, while u lug all that overpriced crap everywhere, I still have a 1000 songs in my pocket (and helping the environment to boot!)

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