What If Apple Got Into The Record Business

It would make love not war with its customers like Apple does in everything else. And it would need a name other than Apple Records (in deference to the former Beatles' label). That aside, Steven Jobs would either not join the RIAA or the RIAA would wish he had never joined. Music would be more democratic. The community of music lovers Apple would court probably would decide which songs became "Tasmanian Go-rillas" (to borrow a phrase the FMQB music tipsheet publisher Kal Rudman used to use to describe a hit record). Hits would be determined by a different hierarchy -- perhaps like YouTube video clips are. Apple would be less obsessed with current record label minutia because its mission would still be (as it is currently) to sell hardware. The music would be a means toward that end. Not a bad thought for the Big Four record labels today -- use the music to sell something else. And the real test of whether an Apple record label would really be different is the decision it would have to make about digital rights management for new artists wishing to be part of the Apple music machine. Probably against DRM -- why not? Apple's business model is to use music to sell something else. And if past success is any indication, Apple would likely sell a lot of "something else".