Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Why Chris is playing nice with Steve

There were probably a few EMI Music executives who choked on their spuds on Wednesday, as they watched a prize asset, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, play for Apple boss Steve Jobs and an audience of millions. Martin performed a new song, …

Fri, Sep 3, 2010, 10:15

   

There were probably a few EMI Music executives who choked on their spuds on Wednesday, as they watched a prize asset, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, play for Apple boss Steve Jobs and an audience of millions.

Martin performed a new song, Wedding Bells , at the latest Apple extravaganza to launch new stuff, an event that will receive more coverage than the release of most EMI albums this year.

It should come as no surprise to see Martin playing nice with Jobs. A smart lad, he knows that the traction is now with the technology companies, and that labels such as EMI are just trying to keep up.

There was nothing earth-shattering about Apple’s latest announcements – rejigged iPods, a relaunched Apple TV device and an iTunes-linked social-media network called Ping – with no sign of the much anticipated launch of an Apple streaming service.

Yet for all this, no one is disputing Apple’s importance to the music business. Jobs is, after all, the white knight in a black polo neck who gave the industry a viable, credible solution to download piracy in the shape of the iTunes music store.

That Jobs was only ever interested in music to help shift Apple products is something the industry realised when the deal was done.

All attempts by the record industry to get alternatives to iTunes up and running have come to nothing because none of these “me too” solutions are as good as the original.

And, while there are plenty of decent streaming services out there to connect you with your music in the cloud, you can bet that Apple’s version, when it comes, will be better.

No wonder Martin is happy to play for Jobs – he who pays the piano player calls the tune.