Zune – It’s All About The Music (Companies) – A Short History Lesson

The Grey Lady reports today that Microsoft is paying a “percentage of sales” of the Zune player to UMG (Universal Music Group).

And the “sphere” is abuzz.

If Microsoft truly sees Zune as a (big) music player, this makes a lot of sense.  Why would UMG artists be seen sporting them Pods when, if they can get the kids to wear them, being seen with a Zune can help them make more money.

If Microsoft truly sees Zune as a (big) media player, this also makes sense.  I’m sure now that Universal Music sees some cash, how long before the television for film group gets their piece.

Fascinating model for Microsoft here.

What would happen to Windows if for every version they sold, they paid a few bucks out to the gaming companies and a few bucks out to the business app makers.

How about a % of Office dollars going to printer companies or paper mills?

Bad precidence here methinks.

This helps explain Microsoft complete lack of new media (Podcasting) integration into these things.  If there is nobody to bribe to push the Zune, they must not be worth including on the Zune.

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, 1981

Don’t you just hate the things history can teach us?

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  • http://www.podcasts.com Allan Hunkin

    Paul, this move by Microsoft to pay out to Universal and other music companies is crossing over the line.

    First of all, I am not a big music guy. I buy the odd CD and I don’t buy much online or download “free” music so I have no axe to grind here. And I, switched over my streaming to Windows Media for the SuccessTALK Channels way back in 1998 when everyone else was using Real Media so I have been a big fan of Microsoft from the very beginning but.. I am losing my taste for these guys.

    Here’s how I see it now… if you purchase a Zune, you are endorsing the actions of the RIAA which have been nothing short of horrible. If you buy a Zune you’re actually financing the RIAA and the big record companies. Me thinks not a good idea and I certainly won’t be buying one or encouraging anyone else to buy either. In fact, I think there should be a bit of a boycott.

    I don’t know why we are even spending time on this. Neither Microsoft nor Zune have shown any willingness to support Podcasting.

    I don’t know what has come over Microsoft. They seem to have lost their way. As the suppliers of the world’s operating system they have to show neutrality and they are going the opposite direction by cozzying up the big media companies.

    Keep up the good work,
    Allan Hunkin

  • Drew Burgess11

    They s are telling us they make money when people are seen with them well someone took mine and smashed it and said Zune sucks