“It’s perverse, but true. If the last ten years have taught us anything, it’s that proper licensing carries serious disadvantages, and oftentimes, invites failure. Doing the right thing just hasn’t paid.
It’s why Spotify is begging to get into the US, why Pandora still can’t cross into the black, and why hundreds of startups have perished trying to satisfy inane label demands. They’ve either been saddled with ridiculous cost structures, unbearable and uncompetitive usage limitations, or unimaginable negotiation delays. Or, pursued illegal or gray routes, in the hopes of securing licenses later (ie, Grooveshark).
Which is why it’s great to see a huge, multi-billion dollar company – Apple – secure label licenses and actually come out on top. Amazon and Google went the middle-finger route, for various reasons, though their products are clearly inferior to the iCloud as a result. Apple waited, they paid the $150 million (or whatever the ransom), they’re launching a high-quality file ‘Match’ with 18 million songs, and they managed NOT to piss major content owners off!
What a concept!”
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