The Apple store is the first affordable alternative to illegal downloads and expensive, outdated CD disks.
If you’ve flipped through at least one respectable business publication over the past two weeks, you will have heard about Apple
‘s new iTunes Music Store. An instant success, the well thought-through website and software have attracted heaps of praise AND buyers.
Offering more than 200,000 songs which can be downloaded for USD 0.99 a piece, or USD 9.99 per album, the Apple store is the first affordable alternative to illegal downloads and expensive, outdated CD disks. Once customers buy the music, they own it — no complicated rules, no clubs to join, and no monthly fees. And it’s not all rap or boy bands: baby-boomer favorites like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Bob Dylan are prominently featured, attracting a mature, web-savvy crowd who can afford NOT to engage in illegal practices, and just pay for their downloads.
In its first week (May 2003), the store sold over one million songs, with over half of the songs being purchased as albums, dispelling industry concerns that selling music on a per-track basis will destroy album sales. Could it be that paying a NORMAL price for online music AND getting real service may actually work? 😉
Remaining challenge? iTunes Music Store is only available in the US. But that, we’re sure, will change quickly enough: either Apple will quickly expand, or someone, somewhere, is going to copy this model, to cater to the other 420 million consumers who are online outside the US.
16th May 2003