Universal Flexes Muscles, Not Renewing Long Term iTunes Music Contract

Just as Apple was riding high on the iPhone, Ferris Bueller style in a parade of fans and media alike, Universal Music plans to throw a knee into Jobs and Co.'s collective crotch. Universal Music Group will supposedly tell Apple that they will not be renewing a long term contract for iTunes music, instead going for a short-term sales agreement that will still let Apple keep their artists's music up for sale.

This shorter contract benefits Universal by letting it have more flexibility in dealings with other music services, presumably ones like Microsoft's Zune or Rhapsody, or even its own store if it feels up to it. How does this affect you? Our guess is that it won't. Apple will do a lot to keep Universal at the table, which probably means you won't be missing your Alizee or your Amy Grant anytime soon. But it may mean lower profits for Apple itself, and could slow down any efforts in motion to get DRM-free (like EMI's catalog) into iTunes.

Universal Music May Not Renew iTunes Contract [WSJ]