It was only two years ago that major recording companies got Apple to sell tracks for up to $1.29, the price all top-sellers go for today. The pricing change has provided a needed boost to revenue. But the hike might not have worked if songs weren’t initially priced so cheaply that they offered a good alternative to pirated songs that were free but troublesome to find and download.
“Steve and Apple made it once again easy and accepted to pay for music,” Recording Industry Association of America CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “His legacy will live on, long past his all-too-short time on Earth.”
Jobs’ influence on the movie and publishing industries has been less profound.
While his $7.4 billion sale of the Pixar animation studio to Disney made him rich, it hasn’t turned people into mass buyers of digital movies. Studios are still looking for ways to spur sales, doing everything from adding social media functions to online streams to ensuring that purchased discs come with digital copies that are stored online in the so-called cloud.
Jobs was instrumental in creating a new pricing model for digital e-books, hiking some online prices but cutting into publishers’ share of revenue. But the iPad has not become the dominant way people consume books, even digital ones. Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle dominates that realm.
Meanwhile, magazine and newspaper publishers are hoping that the iPad can get them out of the funk of falling circulation and advertising, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Even the music industry is evolving. Services such as Spotify and Rhapsody are gaining traction by moving people away from owning music and toward subscribing to all-you-can-listen plans. It remains to be seen if Apple can stay on top with its iCloud system of storing songs, photos and documents online and pushing them to you on all your devices. ICloud will debut Wednesday.
Jobs’ legacy may be that he helped point the way for the music industry to pull out of a devastating downward spiral and paved the way for the consumption of digital entertainment on devices that are easy to use.
“I think he’s our generation’s Thomas Edison,” said Russ Crupnick, a digital music analyst with NPD Group. “When the skies were really cloudiest about where music was going to go, his vision was where the sun was shining.”
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
We all eat, and food should be fun and healthful. Food Commune celebrates the food we eat, the people we eat with and the spirits we enjoy.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Reflections on raising families in a holistic way -- with a focus on nutrition and alternative health.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall