Sony has no plans to withdraw its music from iTunes

Thu, Feb 17, 2011


A few days ago, flimsy headlines surfaced indicating that Sony might pull their music from iTunes in the event that their fledgling music subscription service, dubbed Music Unlimited, became a success. The root of the story came in the form of a quote from Sony CEO Michael Ephraim. “If we do [get mass take up]” Ephraim asked, “then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes? Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that’s the format right now. Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple,” Ephraim continued, “and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold.”

Saucy stuff, right?

But the quote and the eventual fallout is a perfect example of how misinformation can quickly spread across the web.

First, and maybe this was lost in translation somehow, but while Ephraim is indeed a Sony Executive, he’s not the company CEO but rather the Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia. So yeah, dude deals with PS3s in the land down under and any connection he has with Sony’s music group may be tenuous at best.

In any event, Sony Network Entertainment COO Shawn Layden recently put any rumors of Sony abandoning iTunes to rest.

Sony Music as I understand it has no intention of withdrawing from iTunes, they’re one of our biggest partners in the digital domain. I think those words were either taken out of context or the person who spoke them was unclear on the circumstances.

As noted by BusinessInsider, Layden doesn’t work for Sony Music, but by virtue of his involvement in Music Unlimited, it stands to reason that if Sony was looking to stick it to iTunes, the people involved in the theorized iTunes replacement would be in on the scheme.

Besides, Sony would be utterly foolish to remove its content from the top music retailer in the US, especially now that Apple has implemented the tiered pricing model for songs that companies like Sony lobbied so hard for not too long ago.


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