Following a successful campaign that garnered it a piece of each Zune media player Microsoft sells, an emboldened Universal Music Group may be turning its attention to Apple Computer’s iPod.
Speaking to a Reuters Media Summit on Tuesday, UMG chief executive Doug Morris said he may look to tailer a similar deal with Apple that would include a kick-back from iPod sales.
“It would be a nice idea,” he told attendees. “We have a negotiation coming up not too far. I don’t see why we wouldn’t do that… but maybe not in the same way.”
Morris added that it “was an amazingly interesting exercise,” to end up with a piece of technology in the case of Zune.
Earlier this year, UMG refused to license its music to Microsoft unless it could receive a percentage of each Zune sold, in addition to the standard music licensing fees for downloads and subscriptions.
“These [digital music player] devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it,” Morris was quoted as saying at the time. “So it’s time to get paid for it.”
According to published reports, Microsoft ultimately agreed to hand over approximately $1 to UMG from the sale of each $250 Zune.
Apple and UMG are due to meet at the round table for a new phase of music licensing negotiations in early 2007.
I personally think this is a great idea and that deals should be worked out will all the labels. Because if we pay royalties for “stolen” music on our iPods, then we would have the right to put “stolen” music on them. If the RIAA tried to sue an iPod user, he’d have a perfect defense: “I paid my royalty when I bought my iPod!”
Now if this royalty does not entitle iPod users to fill up their iPods with “stolen” music, then I have to ask: Exactly what does Universal want to be paid for?!