The Strategist

Anti-trust investigations against Apple Music underway

06/10/2015 - 07:56

Anti-trust investigations against Apple Music underway
Apple Inc’s music streaming service has already ran into troubles, a week after its launch.
The attorney generals of New York and Connecticut have started to delve deep into the way Apple Music partnered with music labels to identify whether antitrust violations exist in the agreements.
The investigation will determine whether music labels were pressurized into accepting the paid music subscription or willingly signed the deal. Apple launched its music streaming service on Monday with a membership fee of $9.99 for a month or $15 for a family membership which could be shared in the same household for up to six members. Apple Music will not offer free content with ads for revenue and instead plans to monetize by membership dues. Apple will provide a three-month free trial period and artists can sync directly to the audience through Apple’s connect platform.
The music streaming service industry is rife with competition with players like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal and Amazon Music in the line. Apple’s entry into the field will potentially change the dynamics. Meanwhile, the success of such streaming services are proving to be a death knell on legal downloads for music from the labels.
Universal Music Group has responded to the attorney general noting that the company had signed no agreements with Apple or music companies like Sony Music and Warner Music that would destroy the availability of free or ad-supported services, or prevent it from licensing its recorded music to any music streaming service. The company is currently offering limit exclusive content to some music streaming services as well to do well than the competition.

Speaking on the industry and the current investigation, Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for the New York attorney-general, Eric Schneiderman said: "This letter is part of an investigation of the music streaming business, an industry in which competition has recently led to new and different ways for consumers to listen to music. To preserve these benefits, it's important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anticompetitive practices."