It was October 2003 and Steve Jobs was on stage for a special worldwide simulcast keynote speech about iTunes. About four minutes into the presentation, he said something that made my pounding heart sink to my burning stomach.
In May 2003, Apple invited me to their headquarters to discuss getting CD Baby‘s catalog into the iTunes Music Store.
iTunes had just launched two weeks before, with only some music from the major labels. Many of us in the music biz were not sure this idea was going to work. Especially those who had seen companies like eMusic do this exact same model for years without big success.
I flew to Cupertino thinking I’d be meeting with one of their marketing or tech people. When I arrived, I found out that about a hundred people from small record labels and distributors had also been invited.
We all went into a little presentation room, not knowing what to expect.
Then out comes Steve Jobs. Whoa! Wow.
He was in full persuasive presentation mode. Trying to convince all of us to give Apple our entire catalog of music. Talking about iTunes success so far, and all the reasons we should work with them.
He really made a point of saying, “We want the iTunes Music Store to have every piece of music ever recorded. Even if it’s discontinued or not selling much, we want it all.”
This was huge to me, because until 2003, independent musicians were always denied access to the big outlets. For Apple to sell all music, not just artists who had signed their rights away to a corporation, this was amazing!
Read the full story at Gizmodo.com.