Indie goes Mainstream at Apple
Friday, Jun 06, 2003
Yesterday Steve Jobs gave a presentation to 150 representatives from independent music labels, offering distribution through the Apple Music Store. CD Baby! has posted their notes from the event.

It sounds very cool, and very well thought out. It even opens the door for small indie labels to become clearinghouses for 'ultra-indie' musicians, lowering the barrier to entry even further than it is now.

The thing I was most impressed by is Apple's claim that they will always refuse money for preferential placement. Those big banners touting the 'band of the moment' are created by Apple, solely by what the Apple music specialists think is good and worthy, not by big promotions contracts. One of the label reps was dubious, asking how they can be sure it will always be that way, and an Apple exec responded that Apple's been in the OS business for 20 years, and they've never sold an icon on the desktop like other companies have. (Is this actually true? Did no money change hands for System 7 or 8, when IE was on the desktop, or when the 'Connect to the Internet' icon drove you to an Earthlink sign-up page?)

Since the 'bestselling songs' are calculated on a rolling 24-hour basis, even a small relatively unknown band can get on the chart by organizing its fans to get friends to buy music on the same day, pumping it up in to the list, where it will either fall the next day, or stay high by virtue of the music.

Indie stuff should start appearing on the site within 90 to 120 days. I can't wait.

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