We reported yesterday on Pete Townshend’s John Peel lecture, in which The Who’s guitarist labelled iTunes as a “digital vampire” and suggested Apple should be taking on more roles traditionally fulfilled by labels and publishers. The Guardian has now published the full speech of his text – useful for seeing the full context of his remarks. However, Townshend has come in for some criticism from industry figures and journalists. Consultant Mark Mulligan calls the speech “misplaced and poorly informed criticism”, while attacking the idea that iTunes should become a pseudo-label. “I don’t remember anyone arguing that HMV, Tower, Virgin, Fnac, Saturn or El Corte Ingles should be providing record label services to artists nor do I recall them being called Vampires. The bottom line is that labels (traditional and new digital alternatives that play a similar role: TuneCore, PledgeMusic etc) do artist development and marketing best, retailers do selling music best.” Meanwhile, Billboard’s Glenn Peoples thinks the marketplace should provide tools and platforms for artists rather than Apple. “It can best serve artists and record labels by continuing to create products that consumers love.”

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