“Chris Bell, director of product marketing for iTunes, talked with the E-Commerce Times about how Apple has always paid attention to music—and why it always will.
How do you see iTunes in comparison to current competitors?
Bell: I think as other companies work on the first versions of their music stores, we’re already on to our second and third generation of innovation. We’ve passed the initial phase, and we’ve moved into finding new ways to collaborate with artists, forge deals with other companies and develop relationships with independent labels. Now that we’ve established the gold standard for ease of use, our goal is to grow the catalog and expose customers to even more music. We think there’s still a great opportunity for growth in this market.”
Apple has posted a ‘coming soon’ page for its Pepsi-iTunes 100 million song giveaway. You can sign up to be notified when the giveaway launches on February 1, 2004. “Watch for our ads during the Superbowl. 100 million songs. 1 in 3 wins.” It seems that you can either purchase Pepsi or Sierra Mist for a chance to win, as indicated by the icons in the lower left.
“Kenswil [Universal Music’s eLabs president] spoke at the well-attended Music and Technology conference at the Royal Society in London yesterday. His assessment of a Q2 rollout for Apple’s music store was shared by representatives from BMG, EMI and other smaller labels represented at the show who were spoken to by Macworld.
He said: “As far as we know, the deals for Europe have been done, all the agreements are in place to introduce services here.”“
TunesAtWork lets you listen to your personal iTunes music collection while at your office or lab, even though your iTunes collection resides at home.
TunesAtWork is a specialized web server that runs on your home Macintosh and serves web pages that present your music collection (including playlists) organized visually much the same as in iTunes itself. This makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
30 million songs have been purchased and downloaded since the introduction of iTunes for Mac and for Windows platforms.
iTMS hopes to have 100 million songs downloaded a year by April 2004.
iTunes Music Stores has 70% of legal downloads.
Almost 2 million songs a week being sold.
Top spender in iTunes Music Store spent $29,500!
Audio Books -
5,000 books available for download. 20,000 hours of spoken content.
iTMS has sold 50,000 audio books in first quarter.
Billboard Charts will be available from iTMS - Top Hot 100 from 1946 - 2003
12,000 Classical tracks
500,000 songs are available for download today!
“Norwegian programmer Jon Lech Johansen, who broke the DVD encryption scheme, has opened iTunes locked music a tad further, by allowing people to play songs they’ve purchased on iTunes Music Store on their GNU/Linux computers.
“We’re about to find out what Apple really thinks about Fair Use,” Johansen told The Register via email.”
In the latest release of iTunes appears a new feature called ‘Grouping.’ Grouping is another field you can edit and search on. Grouping is useful for Classical music, where a “work” or “piece” of music is multiple tracks but not the whole CD. It shows up in Get Info, View Options, and when you right click on column headers,” as explained by ‘iTunes Mike’ in the Apple Discussions forums.
“An in-depth look at the greatest, coolest, most insanely frustrating media player out there and the store behind it” by Eric Dahl, PC World.
“Sessions@AOL are exclusive in-studio performances recorded in an intimate setting.” Artists include Liz Phair, Iggy Pop, R.E.M, Limp Bizkit and more. There are currently 16 sessions available for purchase at $.99 each.
Apple has released its own ‘Essentials’ compilation albums featuring the best in Classic Country, Make-out Songs, Johnny Cash, Disco Ball Reflections, Christmas Classics and lots more. Prices start around $11 for a complete compilation or you can opt to buy individual songs at $.99 and there are currently 41 albums to choose from.
“Jobs says he has no plans to lower prices or dramatically change iTunes to address the new threats. “We’re going to continue on our winning strategy,” he said in an interview. [...]
Rivals such as Dell have introduced more flexible portable players for other services. Jobs says Apple “trounced Dell this quarter” in music player sales. Researcher Jupiter predicts the $80 million digital music market will hit $1.6 billion in 2008. The field is quickly getting more crowded.”
“While piracy continues to threaten the music business, Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store is the digital hit of the year with 20 million 99-cent-a-song download since April.
The thunderous response to iTunes helped push four other music services to market, with several more planned. But their initial success has been much more muted.
The first to take on Apple was BuyMusic.com in July. It expected 1 million daily song downloads. ‘We’re not achieving that at all,” says BuyMusic CEO Scott Blum. “I’ve spoken with my competitors, and we’re nowhere near (Apple’s) numbers.’”
You know, it seems like only yesterday that I pointed out that all (both) of the players in the soft drink space were spoken for when it came to digital music. In fact, it was yesterday. The good folks at Roxio must have been reading my article, and realized that they were in a bit of a pinch now that both Coke and Pepsi sponsorships were off limits, because they’ve moved on to other beverages in search of sponsorships, and no I’m not talking about Fresca. In what may amount to a new all-time low for the high-tech industry, the brains behind the Napster mini-revival have signed up a beer company as their new sponsor. Yeah, you read that right…
“Apple Computer Inc. will open its iTunes Music Store to customers in Japan by as early as next year, CEO Steve Jobs, in Tokyo for the opening of Apple Store Ginza on Sunday, told The Asahi Shimbun. [...]
Online music sales have yet to catch on in Japan, the world’s second-largest music software market following the United States, but growing interest from companies such as Apple underscores the market’s potential.”