Who do you want to be told to listen to today?
April 15, 2003 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Coming off the previously-addressed possibility of Apple purchasing Vivendi Music comes the news (if you still call the New York Post that) that Microsoft might want the company too. Are people, especially the online community, going to make this out as a battle between good and evil? Or is Bill Gates' Dance Party a good thing?
posted by XQUZYPHYR (15 comments total)
As for Microsoft, I'd prefer to keep the ones who run my computer from having some interest in greater copy protection. So let's hope Apple pulls it off.
posted by Kevs at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2003

The latest reports I've read are saying that although Apple was discussing purchasing UMG, they "weren't that serious". (I'm not sure how you casually discuss a $6 billion purchase.)

Their main music interest appears to be their much-rumoured online music service, to which all five of the major music labels have reportedly committed.
posted by timeistight at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2003

Of course this is a classic Microsoft tactic -- hint that you might be entering a given market, so as to drive up the price or otherwise complicate things for your rival.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 4:03 PM on April 15, 2003

Apple has just registered appleuniversal.com, just to add some fuel to the fire.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:20 PM on April 15, 2003

Microsoft must not become the world's leading music company. This must not happen. Oh no. No.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:30 PM on April 15, 2003

posted by Space Coyote at 4:36 PM on April 15, 2003

I thought we had already learned (AOL + TimeWarner) that Software + Media isn't that great of a combination after all. I'm surprised there aren't more questioning voices about this merger. Keep my music and my software provided by separate people! (Is there such a thing as Open Source Music?)
posted by slacy at 4:41 PM on April 15, 2003

Read the comments on macslash about that domain. it's a joke..
posted by shadow45 at 5:24 PM on April 15, 2003

And trust me on this- Microsoft having a foot into the music industry would not be a Good Thing for copyright law. The thought of it makes me ill.
posted by shadow45 at 5:26 PM on April 15, 2003

Look at all the good the combination has done Sony.
posted by billsaysthis at 5:49 PM on April 15, 2003

Read the comments on macslash about that domain. it's a joke..

read his supplementary comment, two comments down.
posted by angry modem at 5:56 PM on April 15, 2003

Just for comparison:

- Music industry 2002 revenues: $12.6B

- MS calendar 2002 revenues: $30.5B
posted by billsaysthis at 5:56 PM on April 15, 2003

If Apple bought UMG, they'd no doubt would fall victim to the same sort of panic AOL/Time Warner has been going through... Except they don't have an insanely popular online service to fall back on. Don't do it, Apple! Listen to Wired.
posted by phylum sinter at 9:26 PM on April 15, 2003

I agree - why buy the cow when you can (illegally) download the milk for free?
posted by O9scar at 7:22 AM on April 16, 2003

I think the AOL merger was different in a crucial respect -- AOL may be healthy now, but it depends for its survival on the existence of a class of people who would rather have shoddy service than deal with minor technical issues like setting the POP server. There are fewer of these people every day (especially as more and more of the technical details are auto-configured), and AOL has not yet come up with a compelling reason why a computer-savvy population should bother with it. In contrast, Universal has assets which are not going to fade with time -- it just needs a first-rate, modern distribution system.

I'm not convinced that either Microsoft or Apple would get enough value out of Universal to make it worth the trouble, but it's not a crazy idea. Time Warner's decision was far more ill-considered.
posted by Epenthesis at 9:10 AM on April 16, 2003

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