While Apple remains tight-lipped about its plans for the interactive streaming service many expect to launch early this year, the company has made big changes in its download store in the last month, and label executives believe the moves are tied closely with whatever they are planning for its soon to be revamped Beats digital streaming service.
The changes appear to benefit the major labels at the expense of indies, leaving the indie label sector in a diminished showing compared to where they were previously inside the store. iTunes didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Most noticeably, Apple has continued to clean up its store, a project that began over a year ago. In recent months the company updated its style guide, and in January began taking down thousands of titles that do not conform to it. As part of that move, Apple also removed titles that, indie executives claim, do conform to the stylebook but that were removed due to “editorial discretion” on the part of iTunes and Apple — much to the chagrin of indie labels and distributors.