Apple looking to buy Universal Music

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My newsfeeds are bruising about rumors that Apple is trying to buy Universal Music. Apple is expected to ship new models of its iPod mp3 player and has been reported working on an online music service.

My initial reaction is twofold.

Firstly, I am always suspicious of any business model where the same company owns both the content catalog and the pipes. This the kind of lure many cable and media companies have been through, with the success we all know (déjà VU anyone?). Congrats to Apple for making sure that Mac users are not locked up from online music, however we should be worried if this ends up in access to only one catalog.

Secondly, despite my first point, I think this is just the sort of "shock and awe" news the music majors need to stop procrastinating and change their business model instead of throwing kids in courts. What better than a new entrant that has everything consumers want in terms of online music to shake up the incumbents?