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Report: Apple in music video talks
Paper tells of meetings with record labels about selling videos through iTunes; video iPod next?
July 18, 2005: 8:05 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Apple Computer has approached several major record companies about selling music videos through its iTunes store, according to a published report Monday. That could be a precursor to an iPod that plays video.

The Wall Street Journal reported the negotiations Monday, although an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment to the paper on what she termed "rumors and speculation" about the company's plans.

Apple has told some entertainment-industry executives that it could announce a video iPod by September, according to the article.

The paper reports that people in the media industry say Apple (Research) initiated talks with four major music companies, Warner Music Group Corp. (Research), EMI Group PLC, Vivendi Universal SA's Universal Music Group and Sony BMG about licensing the music videos for sale.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has derided the consumer appeal of watching feature-length movies on portable devices with small screens, according to the Journal. But some analysts told the paper they consider it telling that Mr. Jobs hasn't spoken out against all forms of video on portable devices, such as television shows and other short-form video content.

The paper also reports Apple recently licensed a chip from a subsidiary of Broadcom Corp. (Research) that could be used to display video on portable devices, although it can also be used for more sophisticated graphics.

"I believe it's inevitable," Richard Doherty, an analyst with Envisioneering Group, a research and consulting firm in Seaford, N.Y., says of a video iPod.

For a look at what back-to-school sales could mean for Apple's earnings, click here.

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