Indies labels' fear over iTunes changes

February 19

  According to Billboard, indie labels have fears about some of the recent changes to the Apple's download store.

One of these changes is in the carrousels at the top of pages. (These are the sections with rotating graphics that cycle through a half-dozen artists or albums.) Previously chosen by editorial iTunes staff, what is featured is now determined by sales velocity. This will not allow many indie albums to get highlighted along with big names.

Together with other changes, such as taking down a lot of “sound-alike” tracks, and focusing on different types of music, lead some indie labels executives to fear that Apple is going to simply highlight what sells the most.

These changes suggest a re-think of the iTunes Store as sales are starting to flag, and as Apple prepares for the roll-out of a streaming service. It could be that the iTunes Store is going to focus more on what sells and let their streaming service take care of what people want to stream.

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