Inc., owner of the world's largest online music store, today yields tremendous
power in the music business and is able to make or break musicians. Even
major record labels who are used to abusing customers and musicians alike find themselves victims of the power of iTunes. Apple can
essentially name its own terms, and refusing to comply is essentially business
suicide, given the amount of revenue that iTunes generates.
That situation is very bad news according to rock legend Jon
Bon Jovi. The front man for the iconic 80s group Bon Jovi, he
says that Steve Jobs promises musicians heaven, but puts them through hell.
He says that because of Apple, independent music stores are going out of
business. He says record storeowners should
hold on to what they've got -- it doesn't make a difference if they make it or
not. But he admits there's likely no one to save them, the damage is
In his interview with The Sunday Times,
a British newspaper, Mr. Bon Jovi states, "Kids today have missed the
whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the
jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of
taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not
knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures
and imagining it."
Now such stores are living on a prayer, thanks to Steve Jobs. He
comments, "God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an
old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people
are going to say: 'What happened?' Steve Jobs is personally responsible for
killing the music business."
Mr. Bon Jovi has always prided himself on doing things his way. But Steve
Jobs is making it hard for him to live while he's alive.
On the other hand, iTunes has made superstars out of some obscure independent
artists, even as big time artists like Bon Jovi and brick and mortar stores
find themselves down on their luck. In other words, Apple offers artists
great visibility, but is merciless in its pricing demands.
Ultimately, the industry might be halfway there to bucking the Apple beast.
Google is reportedly preparing to launch a major streaming music service. That could
mean an end to the era of Apple being able to list its demands to the music