Apple today launched the iTunes Affiliate Program, making it the first download music store to offer direct links to a la carte singles and albums that generate paid commissions to affiliate websites. The iTunes Affiliate Program will complement successful iTunes programs including iTunes on Campus, offering free site licenses to colleges and universities, and the iTunes Volume Discount Program, providing bulk song downloads at a discount. The iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one music service with over 125 million songs purchased and downloaded to date.
In the Keynote presentation at Apple Expo Paris, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller has announced that the iTunes Music Store will be available to all European Union countries in October. Schiller also noted that Apple is the first company to sell 100 million songs online since its debut in April 2003. The iTunes Music Store has also sold 5 million songs in its first eight weeks since being introduced in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, a rate of 625,000 songs per week.
MacMinute reports: “The iTunes Volume Discount Program allows companies and educational institutions to purchase iTunes Music Store download codes in bulk, which can then be distributed and redeemed for free music. There is a minimum purchase requirement of 25,000 song downloads for commercial entities and 10,000 volume song downloads for educational institutions. ... The company revealed that it is able to offer discounts of as much as 20 percent off the standard 99 cent pricing for certain bulk purchase levels.”
So much for Apple’s “10 cents a song” profit margin on iTunes songs. MacMinute also notes that Apple is offering new iTunes encoding and marketing tools to music companies.
“Apple today announced that the iTunes Music Store now has over one million songs available for download in the US, becoming the first and only online digital music service to offer consumers a million song catalog. The iTunes Music Store features music from all five major record labels and over 600 leading independent labels from around the world. With more than 100 million songs downloaded and more than 70 percent market share of legal downloads for singles and albums, the iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one online music service.
‘The iTunes Music Store offers the world’s most extensive collection of downloadable music with over one million tracks available,
“When Apple unveils the Danish version of its successful online music shop, iTunes, this October, the company will already be bracing for stiff competition from IT giant Microsoft. Just a few days before the grand opening of iTunes, Microsoft will debut its own music download site, MSN Music.
Music industry insiders have long been aware that Microsoft was planning a rival online service, but Microsoft has kept the specifics tightly under wraps.”
“Apple has agreed to pay undisclosed royalties to a company that challenged the core concept behind the iTunes Music Store.
E-Date Corp. owns European and US patents that describe a “system and method of distributing [commercial] digital content over electronic and wireless networks”. The company claimed that ITMS was just such a system, and as such required Apple to license its intellectual property.”
“CodeWeavers, which specializes in software that lets Windows programs run on Linux, said on Monday that it has a new version of its software that adds support for Apple Computer’s iTunes.
The company said CrossOver Office 3.1 adds support for the jukebox and music download software. The version is currently in preview form and is being made available only to existing CrossOver Office customers.”
The iTunes Music Store has recently added speeches from day one and day two of the Democratic National Convention: America 2004 held in Boston, Massachusettes. The free download includes speeches by former Vice President Al Gore; former President Bill Clinton; Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; former President Jimmy Carter; Senator Ted Kennedy; and Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan and many more.
RealNetworks has responded to Apple’s statement (below) saying “consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software. We remain fully committed to Harmony and to giving millions of consumers who own portable music devices, including the Apple iPod, choice and compatibility.
Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real’s music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices. Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system.”
Apple today released a statement in response to RealNetworks’ recent announcement that they had created a method to offer iPod-compatible song downloads through its new Harmony software. “We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”
Motorola, Inc. and Apple today announced they are partnering to enable millions of music lovers to transfer their favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on their Mac or PC, including songs from the iTunes Music Store, to Motorola’s next-generation ‘always with you’ mobile handsets, via a USB or Bluetooth wireless connection. Apple will create a new iTunes mobile music player, which Motorola will make the standard music application on all their mass-market music phones, expected to be available in the first half of next year.
“Apple today announced that it has signed licensing agreements with three of the largest European independent music labels, Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2, adding tens of thousands of additional independent tracks from leading artists to the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany. With three of the most influential independent record labels on board, iTunes Music Store customers in Europe now have access to an impressive catalog of independent artists including Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, the Pixies, Prodigy, Stereophonics, Paul Weller and The White Stripes.”
Need something to do while waiting for more details on the fourth-generation iPod? Formerly available through Audible’s web page (linked below), Apple has added 36 free downloads from Audible and C-SPAN to the iTunes Music Store’s Audiobooks section, encompassing hours of testimony before the 9/11 Commission in Washington, D.C. dating from March to June 2004. Highlights include former and current U.S. Attorneys General Reno and Ashcroft, former and current Secretaries of Defense (Cohen and Rumsfeld) and State (Albright and Powell), and former and current Mayors of New York City Giuliani and Bloomberg.
Apple has posted details for 31 winners of the iTunes Music Store 100 Million song giveaway, including previously announced grand prize winner Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas (who purchased Zero 7 and Dangermouse’s “Somersault”) and a wonderfully eclectic collection of other people, locations, and song choices. Notably missing from the list at this time: winners from outside the United States, winning details for entries such as 99,200,000, 99,400,000, 99,600,000, and more.
iLounge reader John Masone has submitted a tutorial on how to set up iTunes to be remote controlled via any web browser. “This little tutorial will show you how to create a web based remote for Apple iTunes. It’s only for Mac OS X. It requires some modifications to the Apache Web Server that make it less secure, so I recommend you do this on a computer that’s safely hidden behind a router, and preferably a computer that isn’t using Apache for anything else.”
“Apple Computer Inc. is on the verge of agreeing a deal with independent record labels that will allow its iTunes music service to sell their tracks, The Times newspaper reported on Monday.
Citing sources close to the talks, the newspaper said a pact could be announced on Tuesday, ending a feud that has kept independent labels off iTunes since its launch in the UK, France and Germany last month.”
Roughly ten days after Apple’s iTunes Music Store began its “count up” giveaway with the 95,000,000th song sold, the company is poised to pass the 100,000,000 song mark. At approximately Midnight Eastern Standard Time (U.S.), July 12, 2004, Apple flipped the official count up timer to “99,943,896.” At the current rate of sales, Apple will hit the 100 millionth song today, quite likely within the next two hours. Best of luck to all those entering the grand prize giveaway!
Update: Apple hit the 100,000,000 mark at approximately 1:25AM Eastern Standard Time (U.S.). (The final three updates to Apple’s page were 99,992,422, then 100,014,607, then a static 100,000,000 banner.) Congratulations to Apple on this major milestone in legal music downloading!
Update 2: Preliminary sales figures suggest that roughly 40,000 songs (estimated value $39,600) were sold in just the final ten minutes before the 100,000,000 mark was reached. By comparison, the grand prize of a 17” PowerBook laptop computer, 40GB iPod and 10,000 song iTunes Gift Certificate were valued at approximately $13,200 - a very smart promotional move for Apple. To see the progression of sales from 94,679,227 songs to over 100,000,000, click on the link to Kurt Hoffmann’s table below.
The iTunes Music Store is celebrating their 70% worldwide market share of legal downloads by having a contest to count down to the 100 millionth song with some great prizes like iPods, Powerbooks, 10,000 free songs, etc. You’re automatically entered when you buy a song from iTunes, but Engadget.com shows how to enter for free in this week’s How-To.
As the number of songs downloaded from Apple
“Apple’s online music service iTunes has reported sales of 800,000 songs since it opened its European store last week.
An Apple spokesman said 450,000 of the tunes sold since the store opened had been bought by consumers in the UK.
The service offers music fans in the UK, France and Germany over 700,000 songs for 79p or 0.99 euros each.
Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs claimed iTunes was already “Europe’s top online music store” and had outsold rival OD2 by 16 times in the past week.”
Apple has posted a photo gallery and QuickTime video of the iTunes Music Store launch in UK, France, and Germany. “Tune-in to see Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, launch the Apple iTunes Music Store in UK, France, and Germany from the Old Billingsgate Market in London, UK.”