Record Labels Shut Out of Ping Introduction?

Ping Lady GaGa

By now we’ve all heard about the drama between Apple and Facebook over the introduction of Ping back on September 1. Apparently the drama doesn’t end there, as a new report sheds some light on Cupertino effectively leaving the record labels out in the cold prior to the launch of iTunes 10.

Fast Company is reporting
on the troubled launch of Ping, the social network built into iTunes 10 which Apple introduced at the beginning of September. Almost immediately after its launch, Ping was mired in drama — first with Facebook (or rather, the lack thereof) and next by users, who thus far have been mostly unimpressed with the service and its lackluster selection of artists.

If you thought you were underwhelmed, the record labels appear to be downright “disappointed,” according to several music industry insiders. “It’s not a game changer,” explains one source, who claims the record labels are simply “indifferent” to the iTunes-based social network.

Of course, that could have a lot to do with being given the cold shoulder in the days leading up to the unveiling of Ping. While Facebook at least reportedly had 18 months of negotiation, the record labels had none — they apparently found out about Ping at the same time the rest of us did.

“In keeping with their general practice of keeping things really, really tight, [Apple] didn’t tell anyone about Ping,” the source reveals. “I’d say that you had a few annoyed people.”

Apple sidestepped the often-cranky record labels and “went straight to management,” cuddling up with artists such as Lady Gaga and Jack Johnson to get their profiles on Ping for launch day. It appears to be taking forever to get additional artists added to the service, particularly for independents — a situation that may not get much better in the short term, as Apple is creating profiles for musicians one at a time.

“Apple needs to manually create each page on their end, send us the login and then we populate it,” explains the music industry source.

Ouch.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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