Apple may develop a power relationship with the music labels similar to that MTV has with the music industry.

Digital entertainment industry leaders are meeting this week at the Digital Hollywood conference, and Apple's iTunes Music Store remains a hot topic among attendees there.

Some speakers at a panel discussion there yesterday – 'Music industry – brand extension in games, wireless and TV' – agreed that Apple could eventually create an MTV-style power relationship with the music industry, speculating that continued dominance of the digital music distribution market may eventually allow the company to "call the shots", according to Digital Music News.

Panelists included: Ken Hertz (Senior Partner, Goldring Hertz and Lichtenstein), Marc Juris (President, Fuse), Jason Hirschhorn (SVP, Digital Music and Media, MTV), and Don Maggi (President, intertainment).

This group of panelists also pointed to the emerging format war between Apple's dominant AAC plus DRM and other competing standards as used by other operators. They said this could lead to the "death of digital music" if this is not resolved. Record labels were criticised for their slow movement in the emerging market, with the MTV exec promising to save that business from itself.

Digital Music News also reports show floor gossip suggesting Apple may be understating the success of iTunes to discourage other operators from the digital music market. While Apple has said it won't now shift 100 million tracks by April 28, but has sold in excess of 50 million, this report speculates the true figure could be higher.

Other topics covered during the event included: wireless content, TV, games, telephony, WiFi and the emerging digital home.

With thanks to Paul Resnikoff.