This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Is Steve Jobs Rolling In His Grave or Did He Dig One for Apple's iTunes?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In one corner of the nutshell, Tim Cook's doing everything right at Apple (AAPL - Get Report). And I really believe iPhone 6, the forthcoming Android killer, will be a hit that Apple went about developing and introducing the right way.

However, in that corner of the nutshell where I'm often tempted to wade, I gotta wonder not only about Cook as CEO, but about what's happening at Apple in general. The key question though -- do these concerns matter? Or are they merely nitpicks over issues that will not impact Apple's core business of selling tens of millions of units of premium hardware?

In any event ...

Case in point -- a well-done (as usual) article by Ed Christman and Alex Pham over at Billboard: Underwhelming Start to iTunes Radio Lights Fire Under Apple.

Must Read: Bank On JPMorgan and Wells Fargo

I use bold type because the entire headline as well as the context Christman and Pham support it with blows my mind. I can't believe what we're seeing from Apple with respect to digital music downloads and streaming radio. When this story hit Wednesday I went on a non-stop Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo-like rant.

First, nobody should be surprised by an Underwhelming start to iTunes Radio ... If the people at Apple are surprised by this, they set expectations too high. That's what most of the financial and tech media did. As iTunes Radio rolled out, however, I made it clear that it would not be a Pandora (P) killer.

See, for example, Pandora has nothing to fear from Apple's iTunes Radio (June 11, 2013 via Canada's The Globe and Mail) and Why Pandora Blows Apple's iTunes Radio Away (October 4, 2013 via TheStreet).

iTunes Radio exists -- or should exist -- as merely another part of the software and services ecosystem that drives sales of Apple mobile devices. While it's understandable why Apple would view the Pandora knock-off as a way to drive digital music downloads in the old-fashioned iTunes Store, that's an idea born to lose and destined to fail.

But this should come as no surprise either ...

On June 5, 2013, I published Is Apple Screwing the Music Industry?. Then, on June 28, 2013, Apple Should Be Ashamed of Itself hit.

You should read both articles, but the theses, particularly at the second link, state that Apple scored a sweet deal from record labels who signed on with iTunes Radio by holding out the (obviously false and horribly misleading) hope that the streaming radio service would reignite digital music downloads. Apple scored thousands of royalty-free plays in exchange for ... absolutely nothing.

It was painfully obvious then, as it is now, that downloads were dying and will soon be dead. They have gone the way of the CD.

Consider reviewing June 7, 2013's Pandora: The Hand That Feeds the Ungrateful Music Industry and, from August 1, 2013, Downloads Die, Apple Lives, Music Industry Suffers. Today, the trend continues with download sales already down 13.3% in 2014, as per Digital Music News.

Now we're getting closer to understanding why it might be Steve Jobs, not Tim Cook who's responsible for this lunacy. 

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs