Jay-Z & Apple?

“It’s not the music; people ingest music the same way. It’s just that the model of selling CDs has changed. So doing things the typical way is not in the best interests of anyone and not exciting for me.” Jay-Z in Billboard prior to stepping down as CEO of Def Jam

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Watch the CNBC report, courtesy of Nah Right:

When Jay-Z stepped down as CEO of Def Jam, everyone wondered what was up next.  These rumors just make too much sense.  If you continue to read Jay’s interview in Billboard, he also says, “It’s really about trying to invest in the future, trying to invest in maybe coming up with a new model.” Apple is definitely one of the pioneers at the forefront of innovation in everything they do, and this new venture seems like it would be a great idea.

BUT, let’s get knocked back down to reality for a second.  According to a post by Matt hickey on CrunchGear, there are some large, looming reasons why this marriage will never work.

  • iTunes is a distribution channel, and a very effective, profitable one at that.  Steve Jobs wouldn’t jeopardize his relationship with all the labels Apple does business with by distributing his own stuff… it would be be like playing favorites.  Perfect example: Complex is owned by Ecko, but is on a completely different floor to limit any kind of manipulation or unfair advantage over other clothing manufacturers that advertise in the popular mag.
  • Apple Corps v. Apple Computer: the 28 year long feud FINALLY came to an end in when the companies announced a final settlement of the dispute on 2/5/2007.  Although the judge ruled in Apple Computer’s favor, both sides were extremely relieved to end the fight.  This would definitely open up some old wounds.

An idea that Hickey proposes that makes much more sense is Jay-Z starting his own digital label and signing an exclusive distribution deal with Apple and iTunes.  It’s a win-win situation; Apple stays clear of any legal trouble but provides exclusive content that will, given Jay-Z’s track record, likely be succesful.  Jay-Z also will be “investing in the future” and “coming up with a new model.”

All of these rumors are popping up now because we are less than 2 weeks out from Macworld.  Steve Jobs is now expected to knock people’s socks off every year at his keynote with Apple’s “next big thing.”  There is a lot of speculation about what the blockbuster announcement this year will be, if there even is one at all.  Here are 8 predictions for Macworld 2008 via Apple Gazette (one of the better Apple blogs).

Had to include this:

Does anyone else think that Steve Jobs would be a great football coach?  Steve, if this whole Apple thing doesn’t work out for you, the Dolphins have a vacancy.

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