What Steve Jobs Did For The Record Industry? Oct 10, 2011
I was lucky enough to be involved with a great indie label in 2002 through 2004, Sarinjay Records/Entertainment. Our sister company at the time was a design firm who had a relationship with Apple. We beta tested the iTunes Producer software and had one of our artists on the very first iTunes “Hell Froze Over” posters. We were one of the, if not the first indie label on iTunes Music Store. I got to meet Steve Jobs just once. I remember in the meeting to introduce iTunes to the music business, where there were lawyers, publishers and managers all trying to find out what was in it for them. Steve Jobs took the stage and I remember the words that launched iTunes. To paraphrase…” We have 6 Billion Dollars to back our venture so we won’t be going out of business and not paying you, and to all the Publishers and Lawyers out there worried about your share, talk to your respective labels….” to which I heard a few voices talking lawsuits and boycotts.
Remember this came at a time when other online music services were faultering and Napster was giving everyone headaches. Steve Jobs and his team made it work!
On hindsight, if Steve Jobs was not so bold and was willing to negotiate rather than have a “Take it or leave it” deal then I think the whole iTunes success would have failed. People and companies don’t like that kind of hard nosed attitude but it obviously works. Maybe our business could learn even more from the way Apple do business, value your goods and services, factor in your margins and do business with those who fit your business plan, otherwise move on.
Thanks Steve Jobs and Bless you for all you have done. Rest in Peace.