As Apple prepares to launch its $5-a-month rival to Netflix next month, the gadget giant has kicked off early talks with record labels about bundling the streaming-TV service with Apple Music, its streaming-music service -- and at least one big label is wary, according to a report.
Some labels are open to the idea that Apple would bundle FT report. The report added that the early-stage talks haven't included discussions of a pricing formula, but some executives are worried about the possible harm of an Apple bundle undercutting the $10 monthly price that Apple Music and virtually all its direct competitors charge.with for a single monthly price, but people at one big record company have concerns, according to an
Apple declined to comment. Representatives for two major labels -- Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment -- declined to comment, and Universal Music Group (the third of the big three labels) didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The societal shift to streaming as the Apple Music and Spotify have helped propel labels to some of their best growth in years. But the music industry is still licking its wounds from the first era of the digitization of music, when profits were savaged first by file sharing and later by paid downloads with much tighter margins than CDs or other physical music formats.to listen to tunes has been a boon for the record industry. Royalties from subscription services like
Some in the industry blame Apple's download model -- Apple fought to win deals to sell 99-cent downloads while the music industry was already on its heels fighting piracy -- for the damage that the music industry has only now started recovering from.
Services like Apple TV Plus and Apple Music are crucial to Apple's goal of igniting its services revenue to $50 billion before 2021. As the gadget giant has launched Apple Music, news subscription Apple News Plus, gaming service Apple Arcade and soon Apple TV Plus, analysts and consumers both have been eyeing the possibility that Apple would offer a mega-media bundle at a discount.
Originally published Oct. 7, 8:48 a.m. PT.
Update, 2:43 p.m. PT: Adds labels declining comment.