The continued failure of Apple’s iTunes to secure deals with the independent record labels in the UK is causing a round of tutting and sighing within the music industry. The indie labels have been roundly criticising iTunes, and the downloads service continues to go without bands and singers such as Franz Ferdinand (this year’s Mercury Music Prize winners) and Eric Prydz, this week’s number one in the singles charts.
One of the more baffling aspects of the continuing saga is that Apple has actually signed a deal with some of the labels, such as Domino and Ninja Tune, but just hasn’t got round to adding them to the library. Chrysalis Music Group, meanwhile, is still waiting for the paperwork to turn up – as are a number of other companies.
Since independent record labels makes up around a quarter of the UK sales, you’ve got to wonder what Apple’s playing at. Napster and Sony Connect have managed to sort themselves out, so what’s taking Apple so long?