Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist and frontman for the classic rock band, The Who, slammed Apple’s iTunes at the beginning of this month, calling them a “digital vampire.” Speaking in Manchester in northwest England, Townshend called on the online music giant to do more to assist the artists from whom they are making so much money from. Townshend was quoted as stating the following:
“Is there really any good reason why, just because iTunes exists in the wild west Internet land of Facebook and Twitter, it can’t provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire… for its enormous commission?”
He went on to describe how record labels and publishers had provided a range of services to artists, offering editorial guidance and how they would nurture artists creatively in the past. He did offer a possible solution though. He stated that he he feels Apple should hire 20 talent scouts “from the dying record business” to help new acts and provide financial and marketing support to the best of them.
Although I do feel that this is a great idea on one hand, I do not think that it would be a smart move for Apple overall. I feel that by doing so, Apple would open themselves up to a whole new industry that they know nothing about. Right now, they are riding a fine line, but they are still very much a computer company and not a music company. I say keep it that way and let’s try to find better ways of incorporating Apple’s iTunes into the music industry’s overall model. What are your thoughts?