Chiswick's Aim Tarnishes ITunes Debut Week

Row between Steve Jobs and Aim's Alison Wenham continues

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Despite very strong sales in the UK for ITunes in their first week of European trading, music fans are not entirely happy.   The lack of music available from independent record labels is upsetting customers and means that tracks from hip bands like Radiohead and The Strokes are not available.  

These independent labels are conspicuous in their absence due to the ongoing row between Alison Wenham, CEO of Chiswick based Association of Independent Music and Apple CEO Steve Jobs.   Wenham is unhappy about the deal that Apple offered the independent labels but Jobs, far from being conciliatory phoned Wenham and told her she was being ‘mean and nasty'.   

Aim represents around 820 independent record labels in the UK which account for a significant 25% of produced music.   If Jobs can't come up with a revised deal, the ITunes site will continue to get flooded with emails from angry music fans.  

“Come on Apple, get it sorted or people like me are going to stop coming back,” wrote one customer. “Great service, great software – lousy choice.”

This comes in the same week that saw Loudeye, a US based digital media company, buy European online music service OD2.   Considering the strengthening competition, it would appear that Jobs has another call to make.  

July 2, 2004