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Apple Sells A Million Songs in Debut Week

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the step-in-the-right-direction dept.

Apple 841

Scrameustache writes "According to an Apple press release, the iTunes Music Store sold over one million songs during its first week. Over half of the songs were purchased as albums, and over half of the 200,000 songs offered on the iTunes Music Store were purchased at least once. Those new iPods are selling like hotcakes too..."

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An apple a day... (-1, Offtopic)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889888)

Keeps the FP away!

Woohoo! (-1, Offtopic)

GabrielF (636907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889890)

A good day for apple (Stock up 12%) and FIRST POST!

Apple music store (1)

schappim (656944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889981)

won't it be a money raker when they expand it outside the US!

Re:Apple music store (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890141)

not really, until the prices are all equal. i'm guessing a cd doesn't retail for 15$ USD in all countries, and this .99$ per song is really too close to the CDA rate. sure you don't want all the songs, but lots of their sales were from whole albums. strange. so, considering worldwide economies, the price goes to .25$. a quarter for a song, or four for a buck. that's going to be the sticking rate where they'll basically rake in tons of cash. oh yeah, and the users will have to be able to choose their format, WMA, ogg, mp3, etc. this is about technology, not copyright anymore. and in technology things get smaller, faster and cheaper.

Apple Hotcakes? (-1, Offtopic)

salemnic (244944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889891)

Someone shoot me now.

Hooray (4, Interesting)

cookiej (136023) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889892)

I think the model may work. Let's hope it torpedoes the RIAA completely.

Re:Hooray (5, Insightful)

bludstone (103539) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889917)

Unfortunatly, these sales trends wont continue unless Apple can get more music contracts. No torpedo-ing will happen unless this occurs...

Even then, does Apple's model adequatly compensate the artist? Does it allow entry for independant artists? Does it even have the potential to work against the RIAA, or will it simply strengthen its grip?

Re:Hooray (5, Funny)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889975)

I THINK you'll find that the more the RIAA tightens it's grip, the more potential music buyers will slip through its fingers.

Or something.

Re:Hooray (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889920)

Given how they've sued students for downloading mp3s and fined them vast amounts I wish it would happen. I was at an outdoor market yesterday and there were loads of pirate music CDs and DVDs for sale. Buy 4 albums for £5 etc..., these are the people the RIAA need to be targetting, these stalls were selling thousands.

Re:Hooray (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890084)

Those adds selling out N albums or DVDs for ridiculously low prices (I've seen those 4 DVDs for about 10? adds) are not necessarily illegal.

Sometimes, distribution or production companies does material dumping like that to boot unit sales figures for marketing reasons. They then can show those "Over 2 million copies sold" stickers on those boxes, at full prices, to sell another million or two.

It's common practice in mass retail marketing.

Slashdot, geek website, dead at 6 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889904)

I just heard some sad news on www.Kuro5hin.org - "News for Nerds" website and anti-Capitalist hotbed Slashdot.com was found dead in Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda's mother's basement/server room in Holland, Michigan. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Euro-trash community will miss it - even if you didn't agree with the anti-Microsoft, ultra-liberal leanings of the site, there's no denying its contributions to shower-avoiding, hippy-Geek culture. Truly an anti-American icon.

Re:Slashdot, geek website, dead at 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890124)

You heard wrong. Zephram Cochrane invented warp drive.

Me thinks CmdrTaco gets an Ipod Free.. (-1, Flamebait)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889905)

Whats next ? Apple crosses 1 Million Two fifty thousand downloads ?

How about we start with auctions on ebay next :)..

Re:Me thinks CmdrTaco gets an Ipod Free.. (4, Interesting)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889978)

well if you read the articles you will see that Apple's music store sold more songs in a week than the others have in months. Ignore the little Apple icon if you must and see it as *somebody* has possibly finally figured out a way to sell music downloads that people like. The question is how will the sales be in a few months. The Apple policy is a lot more reasonable than anyone else. None of the other services let you put the songs on a portable MP3 player, let alone burning it to an audio CD (which strips the DRM).

Re:Me thinks CmdrTaco gets an Ipod Free.. (5, Informative)

sh00z (206503) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890083)

None of the other services let you put the songs on a portable MP3 player, let alone burning it to an audio CD
Not so. You should try eMusic [emusic.com] . Their selection isn't as broad as Apple's, but I've bought full albums from They Might Be Giants, Bis, Apples in Stereo, Ted Hawkins and Bauhaus.

Re:Me thinks CmdrTaco gets an Ipod Free.. (5, Insightful)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890132)

I think it might be closer to: somebody has possibly finally figured out that making products and services AVAILABLE to people who are proven to actually have the means and the inclination to ACTUALLY PAY FOR STUFF that they find valuable. Windows users buy their machines on price first, features second (and steal half their software from work third...), Linux users have moral objections to paying for stuff that's already been sold a million times, whereas Apple users understand that time pretty much equals money and would rather pay to take the hassle out of life and get on with the rest of theirs.

Cheap, too (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889906)

Re:Cheap, too - just like Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890149)

Al Gore did good by buying an Apple board member seat with the taxpayer's money in pursuing 'antitrust' actions against Apple's competetor, Microsoft.

Way to go Al.

And in other news (4, Funny)

Hagakure (203111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889912)

Offerings on P2P networks have almost tripled!

Re:And in other news (0)

splateagle (557203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890166)

Offerings on P2P networks have almost tripled!

Funny if it were true: since you can't play the AAC files on anything except iTunes 4, this'd be worse for e-looters, er, I mean file-sharers, than that Madonna thing...

And some people thought this would never happen! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889913)

Well it seems to me that there's room for everything in this world. Room for people that want things the legal way and the whiners that love music for free that keep whining about not buying on the ITunes Music Store.

Let's see how this one keeps up for the next year!

Finally (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889915)

Apple has found something to make it profitable. Quick sell the hardware side of the business.

Holey fuck, Batman! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889918)

gawd, I'm tired. No more mountain dew for me!

Also: Mike Hunter, cut your hair!

Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (5, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889925)

Today I found a "New Music Tuesday" mailing in my inbox, from Apple, highlighting almost 20 recent (complete album) additions to the Music Store that are available as of today.

If they do that many every week, that is seriously gonna bolster their catalog.

~Philly

Re:Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889950)

Tuesday is new music Tuesday for every record store.

That's when new releases come out.

Re:Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (0, Interesting)

selderrr (523988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889954)

I don't want to spoil your fun, but 20 albums a week is not really much. After downloading iTunes, I finally decided to digitize my CD collection. 443 CDs in 6 days. I seriously can not imagine Apple not having 2 iMacs free to do the digitizing.

Okay, okay, I know they rip from mastertapes and all that fanchyscmanchy stuff, but that's no excuse for being so terribly slow. I would expect them to rip 2000 albums a week !!!!!!

Most of all, where's blue note ?????

Re:Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (5, Insightful)

DeRobeHer (76234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889969)

For some reason, I don't think the holdup for getting music into the iTunes Music Store is the digitizing part. It's probably the legal wrangling with the companies that actually own the music.

Re:Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (5, Insightful)

Huogo (544272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889987)

I highly doubt that they have problems ripping things at decent speed, its a problem of getting the music labels to allow them to put the songs up. This is still a new technology, and I would think that the labels are still uneasy about allowing their music go to up in this format.

Re:Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (1)

Reylas (556731) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890081)

If you would have read the press release, you would have saw where it said "adding over 3,200 new tracks" on Tuesday May 6th with tonnes of new content.

I would expect more and more as they ramp up (it is the first week), and they do offer a lot more than just music.

Re:Keeping their promise on adding stuff, too (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890101)

You ripped your 443 CD collection in a week, but are you buying 20 or even 2 new albums a week?

It's not about apple just ripping the music, it's about gaining the rights to it.

Notice how a couple record execs applauded (1)

veldmon (595009) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889933)

the new iTunes, music store, and the download rate that they will be profiting from.

That kind of thing makes me sick, because I'm an avid slashdot reader.

Re:Notice how a couple record execs applauded (0, Troll)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890063)

it makes me sick because 3 years or so ago these execs obliviated napster, which had a larger userbase and could have been used for the same purpose. instead of keeping that startup going, they squished it and then years later started a service with less features and with a company only being used by ~5% of the computer users. i've heard a MS version coming soon...

napster could have had the potential to allow users to purchase songs and to trade them with friends. napster could have been able to allow both p2p distrubition as well as centralized distribution.

Have a Cigar (1, Funny)

Flythewing (628552) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890148)

The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think. Oh by the way which one's Pink?

Tidbits and the future of iTunes Music Store (5, Interesting)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889935)

Tidbits.com has this morning an interesting overview article [tidbits.com] .

They also discuss the future of iTunes Music Store, quoting from the article:

Future Moves -- Keep in mind that the iTunes Music Store is a 1.0 release, so there's plenty of room for improvement, such as the following features.

  • I'd like to see Apple expose the links to every track available in the iTunes Music Store, perhaps along with a new URL scheme that would make it trivial to click a link in a Web browser and jump to the song's listing in iTunes. Utilities would undoubtedly appear to let people build Web pages of their purchased songs for showing friends and other visitors. It appears the necessary bits may already be in place; see the link below.

    <http://nslog.com/ archives/ 2003/ 04/ 29/ itms_ links.php [nslog.com] >

  • Also interesting would be music recommendations via the social information filtering researched at the MIT Media Lab (the Ringo music recommendation project) and then tried (unsuccessfully) in the business world as Firefly Networks. The iTunes Music Store already has Amazon-like "Listeners who bought this also bought" links.

    <http://www.acm.org/ sigchi/ chi95/ Electronic/ documnts/ papers/ us_ bdy.htm [acm.org] >

  • Along the same lines, popularity rankings and user comments would also be welcome, much like those on Amazon.

  • Providing full liner notes, preferably with lyrics, would undoubtedly help some people decide what to buy. However, I'm sure the contractual issues surrounding lyrics are complex.

  • I'm fairly unlikely to buy an unknown song based on a 30 second clip. I'd like to see Apple instead stream a low quality version of the entire track. Even better, Apple could create a number of iTunes-based streaming radio stations in different genres. If you like the current (or recent) song, you could click a Buy button to download it instantly.

  • I gather iTunes users with children are interested in some level of parental control over purchases. Something as simple as password-protection for opening the iTunes Music Store itself would suffice.

  • There's currently no way to buy music as a gift currently, but it would be nice to be able to buy a song or album for someone and have Apple automatically send them an iCard with the download link.

  • Realistically, modem users aren't going to be able to use the iTunes Music Store much, but perhaps a future incarnation could offer a mechanism by which Apple would send you a CD containing the AAC files for an additional cost.


Re:Tidbits and the future of iTunes Music Store (5, Funny)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890019)

Realistically, modem users aren't going to be able to use the iTunes Music Store much, but perhaps a future incarnation could offer a mechanism by which Apple would send you a CD containing the AAC files for an additional cost.

Amazon.com does something amazingly like this. You can purchase the product online and they'll ship you out a shiny disc encoded with high quality audio tracks that you can listen to on virtually any compact disc player. It's really revolutionary. :-/

Re:Tidbits and the future of iTunes Music Store (4, Funny)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890102)

Moreover, I heard that there are places that you can go that have these so-called CD's sitting on shelves and you can pick them up, look at them, and at some places, scan the bar code to listen to them. Then if you want, you can give some money and walk away with them. You don't even have to wait for Amazon to take you money and send it to you... or not not send it to you... depending on their mood that day, I guess.

About what I thought (5, Insightful)

Agarwaen The Tired (471456) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889946)

Most people aren't thieves. The merely want their content delivered the way they want it. It should be simple for a company to offer a better downloading experience then a decentralized p2p. I'd be willing to pay if the offer me more value then p2p programs. By that I mean easier searchs, high quality files, ability to find related music, and better availibility. RIAA has really been doing nothing but shooting itself it's foot and watching it bleed.

Re:About what I thought (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890025)

The other key is that it must be affordable. $1 song isn't bad, but I'd like to see something more on the order of $0.50-$0.75 a song. At $1/song, if you consider the average CD to contain around 15 songs, that still $15. Cheaper than the $20+ a CD the RIAA cartel charges, but still more expensive than it really should be, especially considering that the distribution costs are *far* lower than traditional CDs.

Re:About what I thought (1)

JHromadka (88188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890093)

Most albums are $9.90 or $9.99 if bought as a complete album. There are some exceptions (Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon for one).

Re:About what I thought (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890131)

Really, where do you guys do your CD shopping? The last time I paid $20 for a CD it was a double CD. Have you ever been to Best Buy? The new hit albums are $13.99, and the older stuff rarely is more than $15.99.

Re:About what I thought (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890068)

To further back you up on that, I went ahead and bought quite a few tracks that I had previously downloaded on Limewire. Partly because I wanted better sound quality on a few of them, but mostly because this is the kind of thing I want to support and a couple of bucks is not going to kill me.

The real "killer app" part of this whole thing for me is the free 30 second sound clip you can listen to for each song. Helped my find some songs I would never have thought to download (because I only knew the artist and not the song title).

Finkployd

I really wish... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5889951)

they'd get a Windows version of iTunes out ... they'd have hit 2 million by now!

they'd have sold a LOT more (5, Insightful)

RalfM (10406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889961)


If they weren't restricting to credit cards with a US billing address. Like VISA isn't the same globally?

Ralf

Re:they'd have sold a LOT more (4, Informative)

DLG (14172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890043)

My understanding on this is that it has more to do with licensing of the music. It is a different matter to get US distribution rights than worldwide. I do not doubt that Apple is working to extend their rights, as the European market is significant to Apple's hardware sales, but you can't really blame them for not waiting. A big part of their leverage to get better worldwide rights as well as an increased catalog will be the success of their first steps.

Obviously they aren't having a bad start of it, and they have recieved really great press. I know people who are considering buying macs and ipods based on this.

Re:they'd have sold a LOT more (1)

jdreed1024 (443938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890045)

Like VISA isn't the same globally?

No. It takes a hell of a lot more effort (and money) to accept international orders than it does to accept domestic ones. Why do you think so many of the smaller vendors (like those on pricewatch) won't take non-U.S. orders.

And besides, this is a pilot. If it takes off, I'm sure Apple will start accepting international orders about when they release a windows version.

Re:they'd have sold a LOT more (3, Informative)

MouseR (3264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890047)

It's not about billing adress. It's about legislations governing copyrights and distribution agreements with the respective music companies.

Apple has to work out specific legal issues before it can distribute the music to other countries.

International rights Re:they'd have sold a LOT mor (2, Informative)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890062)

I am pretty sure the restriction was with having the rights to international distribution worked out yet. Either on the Apple site or in the press release it states that they are working that out. Since the technology should be the same, i am guessing it's a legal issue. Odds are they will not have international rights to EVERYTHING in the catalog, so they will have to modify the store to display songs by the user's location. Maybe they will get past it, but in general stores/distros are restricted to certain territories.

Re:they'd have sold a LOT more (5, Insightful)

hafree (307412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890086)

If they weren't restricting to credit cards with a US billing address. Like VISA isn't the same globally?

The problem is fraud prevention. Who's to say you couldn't go on a shopping spree and accumulate 1000 new songs overnight with someone else's credit card? As can be seen from the current RIAA vs. Verizon case, the ISP won't likely help identify the thief in a civil suit, and most credit card companies could care less about fraud prevention in a criminal suit so long as they get their money. And that's just in the US - credit card fraud overseas is much more difficult to trace and prosecute. For now, it's probably just a case of cover-your-ass...

Re:they'd have sold a LOT more (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890098)

Might have been a restriction that the music labels put on them. You are right, that is a really silly restriction though.

Finkployd

Visa would be quite happy (5, Insightful)

goldcd (587052) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890147)

but I suspect it's due to licensing arrangements. Often the same artist is represented by different labels in different territories - he might have been signed in the UK by a small Indie, but needs big-muscle distribution to break the states etc. Big distributer sells in the US, indie still sells in UK.
This causes problems online though as customers and territories are now now no longer tied together - you could buy from whichever territory offered the cheapest identical product. One big free market.....nope, couldn't have that, could we? so that's why you need a US Visa.

Another step in the right direction (0, Offtopic)

joel_mac (575677) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889962)

Apple is doing some good things; last week the music service, new eMac's today.

The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of US$799 includes:

800 MHz PowerPC G4 processor;
CD-ROM optical drive;
ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB video memory;
128MB of system memory; and
40GB ATA hard drive.

The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of $999 includes:
1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
32x Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive;
ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB video memory;
128MB of system memory; and
60GB ATA hard drive.

The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,299 includes:
1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
4x SuperDrive DVD-R/CD-RW optical drive;
ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB video memory;
256MB of system memory; and
80GB ATA hard drive.

eMac (apple.com) [apple.com]

Another step in the right direction.

Re:Another step in the right direction (1)

martone66 (643104) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890096)

Why so little RAM? Memory is dirt cheap these days; I'd consider 256MB the bare minimum that should be shipped with a new system.

Re:Another step in the right direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890113)

It's a good step in the US - here in the UK, we're paying £1500 (around $2100?) for the top-spec eMac. Taxes will account for 17.5% of that, but still, it should be nearer £1000.

Bearing in mind PC prices here are pretty much inline with the US, Apple have a lot of catching up to do in the real world, never mind online music sales.

Incidentally, I'd wager that we'd get the service for 99p per track - around $1.60 - we get milked on the £=$ mechanism and Apple are one of the biggest perpertrators of it.

So: plus points for the online music sales, minus points for neglecting the rest of the world.

Was I misled? (2, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889964)

I thought this iTunes thing was full of DRM gotchas, such as having to re-buy the songs if your computer died..? Are there really that many idiotic people around or am I just misinformed?

Daniel

Re:Was I misled? (3, Informative)

joel_mac (575677) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890010)

from apple.com:

In a nutshell, you can play your music on up to three computers, enjoy unlimited synching with your iPods, burn unlimited CDs of individual songs, and burn unchanged playlists up to 10 times each.

You can "authorize" and "de-authorize" individual computers. As for re-purchasing songs, just make a backup on a CD, and you won't have anything to worry about.

Re:Was I misled? (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890039)

A'right, that's better... So you could technically burn it on a CD and then rip it immediately and have it as mp3s... Sounds reasonable, so long as the loss of quality isn't noticeable.

Daniel

Re:Was I misled? (5, Insightful)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890032)

There are DRM protections on the songs, but the Apple version is more laid back than anyone elses.... off the top of my head you can upload the songs to an unlimited number of iPods, 3 computers AT A TIME (you can switch that too), you can burn unlimited audio CDs "for personal use". Burning to audio CD strips off the DRM.

if you only have the songs on one machine and the machine burned up... i don't know how that works out. I guess like anything else you just have to back it up. It might not sound ideal, but if somebody breaks into your car and steals your CDs (or your house burns down) i don't think Old Man Geffen will ship you replacements for free.

Not as laid back as eMusic.com (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890143)

emusic.com [emusic.com] does not carry next year's Grammy nominations but if you're into Jazz or older alternative it is cheaper than Apple's offering, has been along longer, and is not DRM restricted.

Re:Was I misled? (3, Funny)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890042)

I thought this iTunes thing was full of DRM gotchas, such as having to re-buy the songs if your computer died..? Are there really that many idiotic people around or am I just misinformed?

Many people insulate themselves against such problems by keeping backups on CD.

ASA

Re:Was I misled? (1)

jopie78 (540937) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890061)

You are misinformed. You can have the music on up to 3 computers and you can deactivate the music from on of the computers if you get a new one.

Re:Was I misled? (1)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890104)

Idiotic or loyal [bbspot.com] ?
What's the difference? ;-)

Re:Was I misled? (1)

pldms (136522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890106)

I thought this iTunes thing was full of DRM gotchas, such as having to re-buy the songs if your computer died..?

I suspect you're thinking of Windows Media Player. IIRC (and I hope this has changed) WMP kept your key locally and would use DRM on ripped files (unless you switched to ripping to mp3). Computer dies: all ripped music is useless.

(Note that this only hurts innocent users)

iTunes doesn't do either of these things, happily :-) The only 'protected' files are the bought ones, and (copies of?) the keys appear to be held centrally.

Proof of brand importance? (5, Interesting)

taeric (204033) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889965)

How much of this success is due to this being a truly significant advance in implementations versus Apple simply having a heavy presence in the market?

I'm not trying to sideline the significance of the success, I'm just questioning why it is really successful. From what I have heard, this is not all that much different than approaches that others took earlier (Didn't eMusic, the popular word among those that don't like iTunes, originally sell per song?).

Alternatively still, maybe the market is just now ready for such a store model as this. Timing is, afterall, very important in delivery of a product to market. Too early can be as devastating as too late.

Why did it work? (5, Insightful)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890026)

How much of this success is due to this being a truly significant advance in implementations versus Apple simply having a heavy presence in the market?

The secret is in the direct tie to iTunes. It's difficult to overstate how convenient it is to be able to shop for music within your music player as opposed to fiddling with some web-based download service.

This is the kind of thing which Apple's control over hardware, software, and consumer applications together permits it to excel at. What is astonishing is that Microsoft has proved so poor at this kind of coordination.

ASA

Re:Why did it work? (4, Interesting)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890097)

This is the kind of thing which Apple's control over hardware, software, and consumer applications together permits it to excel at. What is astonishing is that Microsoft has proved so poor at this kind of coordination.

Then why do people always protest Microsoft's bundling of browsers, media players, etc with the OS?

If Apple is "good" for bundling applications and not giving consumers the choice (for example, the music purchasing ONLY works with iTunes), then why is Microsoft "bad" for including IE and Windows Media Player with the OS? And can you imagine the outcry if Microsoft began selling music inside Windows Media Player? Slashdot would be screaming about the monopoly.

Re:Proof of brand importance? (5, Interesting)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890150)

How much of this success is due to this being a truly significant advance in implementations versus Apple simply having a heavy presence in the market?

Put simply, it's both. Apple has great brand recognition, marketing muscle and a loyal customer base. But none of that should take away from the fact that this is a significant advance in implimentation.

How? Well, basically the only games in town for legit online music downloading involved one or more of the following onerous "gotchas."

1. Rental of music. That is, you don't pay your monthly subscription, you can't listen to "your" music anymore. At $20 per month, this starts to get pretty stupid. No mystery why this never took off.

2. Over-zealous DRM after downloading. Once the file is on your computer you can't burn a CD. Or you can, but only certain tracks. Or only if you pay an additional fee. Only one CD, please. Etc., etc., etc. Transferring the file to another machine? Hassle. Quibbles about Apple's "Fairplay" DRM technologies notwithstanding, they're lightyears ahead of what came before.

Apple hasn't gotten it 100% right, but they clearly are hitting the 95% mark and one expects the model to be refined further still. Other services have been consistently below the 50% if you ask me. Not that it was their fault! The RIAA basically either owned these downloading services or at the very least severely restricted the terms of the music licenses. That is to say, the RIAA killed those other services before they were born.

One of the greatest achievements of the iTMS isn't the fact that clever Apple engineers came up with a great idea first - hell, everyone knew the basics of what was needed for online music downloading business to be sucessful. But the RIAA wouldn't allow such a model! No, cleverness aside, the great achievement is the fact that the Big Steve managed to convince the record companies that his model was a good idea for them. Obviously they had rejected such liberal, consumer-friendly models countless times before. I'm recalling a quote from the top guy at Sony that said (paraphrasing here!) "I think it was about fifteen seconds after Steve started talking that I decided to license our entire library to him."

"Reality Distortion Field"? Maybe. However he did it, he managed to get the RIAA to swallow a viable music downloading business model. Viable because it contains enough rights for customers for them to put down their hard earned cash and enough controls for content providers to put up their wares.

Re:Proof of brand importance? (2, Interesting)

DLG (14172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890179)

I would say there are two reasons that come to mind.

#1. iTunes is a very good way of delivering the music. My wife downloaded an album (Mr. Heartbreak by Laurie Anderson) and in about a minute it started playing while downloading the rest. It downloaded FASTER than it would have taken to rip the music ourself. As my wife said, if you need to get an album for some reason quickly (going to a dance party and you want to bring it) you can download an album and be out the door in 10 minutes (if you have an ipod)...

#2. Steve Jobs. His ability to get the labels and artists in line to make this work from the first moment is a real testimony to his ability as a salesman. Obviously the idea of internet music distribution wasn't invented by Apple. Yes the hype helped as well. People were waiting for the music store. While the first week Million song release is exciting I am curious to see if it expands. Will we see a million a week as the basic? Will it be like movies with drop off? Or will it be 2 million a week by next month. I note that both Warner Bros and Universal were quoted in that press release, so it is clear that they are tightly tied into this venture.

----

It seems strange that something that has existed for so many years and had commercial ventures already (distribution of music) might be the killer app for the digital hub concept.

---

I do know that as long as record stores are selling albums that weren't even digitally mastered for 15 bucks, 9.99 per album is gonna be a real seller. I also assume that Apple will find ways to create promotions that will even improve that price point.

---

adding your own album (5, Interesting)

Sarin (112173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889966)

Anyone knows how an independant artist/band have their own album added to the list, I looked for info, but I couldn't find it anywhere on the itunes site.

Re:adding your own album (5, Informative)

jakob_grimm (38102) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890119)

TIME: What about independent labels? Will they follow suit?

Jobs: Yes. They've already been calling us like crazy. We've had to put most of them off until after launch just because the big five have most of the music, and we only had so many hours in the day. But now we're really going to have time to focus on a lot of the independents and that will be really great.

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,4 48048,00.html [time.com]

Re:adding your own album (1)

jr87 (653146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890161)

Probably that is gonna be added later. This is a brand new service. They prob didn't want to start out with too much untill they knew that it would work.

Apple music (0)

cswiii (11061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5889995)

/me wonders how many of these were copies of Living Colour's "Cut of Personality". ;)

Re:Apple music (1)

cswiii (11061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890013)

dammit all, that should have read "Cult of Personality".

I keep telling myself, "No /. before coffee, no /. before coffee..."

To all gobshites (-1, Flamebait)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890001)

who've gone on and on and ON about how'd they'd pay for their music if only they could get it online as single tracks: I know expect you all to go and pay for every one of those 10000000 files in your Kazaa Shared Folders, ok?

Now quickly go world wide! (1)

patrickoehlinger (445411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890006)

Korea already has America's Broadband Dream [slashdot.org] . Could we, outside the US, please buy some songs too before it's all sold out? Wait it's just bits we are paying for...
iTunes Music Store International is missing!

Nevermind the sales what about the selection... (1)

archetypeone (599370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890015)

Not only is iChoons only available on OSX it is also only available in the US (Although there are plans to roll it out in Iraq early next month).
Here are a couple of very different stories about the service from the BBC [bbc.co.uk] and The Register [theregister.co.uk] .

Re:Nevermind the sales what about the selection... (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890085)

Although there are plans to roll it out in Iraq early next month.

isn't that when it's planned to be added as the 51st state in the union?

why do we say there's 50 states in the union when so many don't consider themselves states at all?

3. Profit? (4, Interesting)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890017)

I'm still not sure how this service is going to make a lot of money. While a million tracks may sound impressive, you need to keep in mind that it's quite unlikely that they can keep that rate up for very long.

If the tracks were all sold as singles (they weren't) and if Apple kept all the money from the sale (they don't) AND if they could keep up their one million songs per week rate (doubtful), then by the end of a year they've made $52 million. Take out administration costs (I have no idea what they are, but I'm guessing they must be fairly significant) and the RIAA's big cut, and I'm guessing Apple would be left with somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million after a year, and that's ONLY if they keep up the sales rate they had in their initial week every week of the year. Sure, $30 million in revenue is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not going to convince anyone that online music sales are worthwhile.

Remember, $30-50 million is equal to the revenue from a couple platinum albums, and isn't enough to finance nearly as many artists as the current model can (keep in mind that every "flop" gets subsidized by hit records). I would expect that if the recording industry were to switch to this model that MORE over-produced pop garbage would be pushed since the dramatically lower revenues would keep the companies from taking many risks with "alternative" artists. And you thought it was bad now...

Re:3. Profit? (1)

Patrick Lewis (30844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890153)

You are confusing REVENUE with PROFIT. I don't know what the admin costs/RIAA cut is either, but using your figures, once you clear out all the costs, that's $30 million in pure profit.

This is pretty low risk (for Apple) too. No expensive factories, storefronts, and probably not very many employees. They are acting as a pure middleman, adding value to the product, passing it on to the consumer, and taking a cut in the process.

Relatively low risk and close to a 60% profit margin (your numbers). Yeah, they should close the doors NOW.

Re:3. Profit? (1)

jcupitt65 (68879) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890182)

You're right, but of course the service is currently restricted to US-resident, Mac-owning, OSX-installed broadband users. When they open the user base out a bit there should be a very significant jump in revenue.

Microsoft (-1, Troll)

Petronius (515525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890030)

how long before M$ launches copycat site?

Putting 1 million songs into perspective... (4, Interesting)

klubar (591384) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890031)

1 million songs at $0.99 is about $1 millions/week. Assuming that the demand stays constant--which is unlikely as there was probably pent-up demand, as well as let's give it a try users in the first week--the total revenue for the year will be about $52 million. Although this sounds like an astounding success, it is less than 0.2 percent of Dell's revenue (FY03 revenue $35.4 billion), and less than 0.02% of Walmart's revenue ($218 billion). And it will only account for 1% of Apple's revenue.

Re:Putting 1 million songs into perspective... (4, Informative)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890072)

1 million songs at $0.99 is about $1 millions/week. Assuming that the demand stays constant?which is unlikely as there was probably pent-up demand, as well as let?s give it a try users in the first week?the total revenue for the year will be about $52 million. Although this sounds like an astounding success, it is less than 0.2 percent of Dell?s revenue (FY03 revenue $35.4 billion), and less than 0.02% of Walmart?s revenue ($218 billion). And it will only account for 1% of Apple?s revenue.

Note also that Apple doesn't keep the entire $0.99 - about $0.65 of it goes to the record label.

It's important however that this is very high-margin revenue. Apple's cost of sales here is recouping the cost of developing the service, plus the bandwidth, plus the credit card processing fees, plus the cost of having developers maintain the service. This has got to be pretty low compared to pressing CDs to put into cardboard boxes - let alone manufacturing computing machinery.

And Apple plans to roll it out to Windows users later this year - which should increase the revenue stream considerably.

ASA

Re:Putting 1 million songs into perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890177)

And you're forgetting that a large chunk of that money is going straight back to...

RIAA!...

oh, and the artists of course. But either way, you're still paying the middlemen, Apple included in this case. I'd also wager that they spent a few pence on the hardware and services involved, so it could be quite some time before they profit from it. Long term they probably will, but only if they keep on their toes with fresh content.

That said, we're feeding the mouth that bites us - success of this service and revenue coming from it won't stop RIAA from practising underhand methods to stop online sharing.

I hope this doesn't rescue the recording industry. (5, Interesting)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890036)

I was given an iPod about six months or so, and it's the best toy I've ever owned. There's nothing like flying coast to coast, and having 5000 songs to choose from. And it made my recent cross-country road trip a joy...the only thing that could have made it more perfect for road trips is if the unit included a laser jammer to keep me from getting nailed at that speed trap in Cleveland.

It blows my mind that Apple has been able to improve on the iPod. As if the original's form factor was too thick (not quite as thick as a deck of cards), they still somehow cut it almost in half.

I played around with the new music service this week. Super impressively done. Having said that, I don't think I'll order any music from it. The record companies have shown themselves to be complete bastards for decades now, in how they screw over the public and the artists. I hate to think that Apple's now riding to this industry's rescue, perhaps only a year or two before the entire industry would go down the crapper. If there was only some way I could use this service with the bulk of the money going straight to the artist, I'd be incredibly enthusiastic about this whole thing.

I'm always thrilled to see Apple succeed at something, since I think they tend to make beautifully designed products. I just hope that this success isn't the event that keeps the parasitic recording industry form withering away.

Re:I hope this doesn't rescue the recording indust (2, Insightful)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890095)

I'm always thrilled to see Apple succeed at something, since I think they tend to make beautifully designed products. I just hope that this success isn't the event that keeps the parasitic recording industry form withering away.

Anything which encourages people to purchase music directly by cutting out the retail link can only help artists in the long run. If people get used to this kind of thing, they're much more likely to purchase music from independent artists someday - because independent artists will probably never be able to afford to get their CDs into record stores, but it won't be too much trouble for them to get onto download services.

ASA

FSCK APPLE and the ITUNES MUSIC STORE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890050)

The below says it all.

iTunes Music Store Not Available

The iTunes Music Store requires:

* A Macintosh computer (iBook, PowerBook, iMac, eMac or Power Mac)
* Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later. (version 10.2.5 or later recommended)
* iTunes 4 must be installed
* Internet connection (DSL, Cable or LAN connection recommended)
* Apple ID or .Mac account. If you don't have one, it's easy to sign-up.
* The iTunes Music Store is only available in the U.S.

I don't want to buy ANY Apple products just to listen to music. I want CHOICE. Apple doesn't give me that.

Re:FSCK APPLE and the ITUNES MUSIC STORE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890115)

I want CHOICE. Apple doesn't give me that.

Sure they do. They give you the choice to buy their products if you want to use their services, or buy something else and do without. You CHOSE not to-- I don't think anyone put a gun to your head and made you buy non-Apple hardware running Linux or Windows.

When you choose to buy a Yugo, you give up your right to complain that heated leather seats and a kick-ass stereo weren't options you could get.

You whiny dick.

Re:FSCK APPLE and the ITUNES MUSIC STORE (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890163)

I second that. Distribute a windows and a linux client and I bet the thing takes off 10x faster.

Re:FSCK APPLE and the ITUNES MUSIC STORE (1)

jjphtm (667435) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890174)

Dear Anonymous(Troll)coward,

I don't want to buy ANY Apple products just to listen to music. I want CHOICE. Apple doesn't give me that.

If you want choice, you first need patience, and then you need to read. The Windows version of iTunes will be released by end of year. If demand is high, maybe for more platforms.

Quote from Fortune Mag: "Jobs, however, isn't targeting just Mac users. He plans to roll out a Windows version of iTunes by the end of the year. (Apple already sells a Windows-compatible version of the iPod, which accounts for about half of all units sold.) It is a dramatic departure for Steve, who has deliberately kept the Mac's best features off the screens of the much larger Microsoft-dominated world."

Sucks to be the RIAA (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890066)

If only the RIAA would follow that example instead of trying to perpetuate the stone age...

Any other way? (0, Redundant)

j0hnfr0g (652153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890071)

From the article:

> the iTunes Music Store sold over one million songs during its first week

> over half of the 200,000 songs offered on the iTunes Music Store were purchased at least once

If there are 200,000 thousand songs and they sold over 1,000,000 wouldn't they have to sell over half of them more than once?

Re:Any other way? (1)

j0hnfr0g (652153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890105)

Never mind. They could sell one song 1,000,000 times, or something like that.

It's not easy being a dork.

Re:Any other way? (1)

SnarkDogma (541541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890137)

no.
It's sad that I even have to point this out:
they could have sold one song 1,000,000 times.

One thing I find suprising (1, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890075)

Is how well these things are selling in a proprietary format. This should wake up the music industry into possibly providing a new digital format that is standard, because it appears as though people want something different/in addition to CD.

Guess thinking "differently" does help. (1)

digital photo (635872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890078)

My hat goes off to Mr. Jobs. Sometimes, it seems, you really do need to think differently.

Though this does beg the question of whether or not there are potential law suits to be filed in the coming months due to this development(read: proof of concept).

Hope the sales keep going strong with Apple's iTunes.

RIAA is proven a loser. (1)

Matrix2110 (190829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890155)

Apple has given the given the people what they wanted with this Gig. Will Apple be smart enough to capitalise on the market share?

Remains to be seen.

RIAA is profiting too... (1)

mrmcwn (566272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890159)

It's not like Apple went to Limewire and ripped off all of these songs. A portion of your $0.99 is going to the major labels that provided the material.

Still, a welcome step in the right direction. Now after I've checked out a song for free on Limewire (full length, not 30s sample...) and decided I really like the band, I can flow some cash through Apple to pay for the tunes.

Trading after purchase? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5890162)

While I don't know much about the specifics, I see one big problem in the business model. Lets say 10 college students each buy 20 songs at ~$20. They then swap them among themselves, everyone now has 200 songs, but apple only got the revenue from sales of 200, not 2000 (if everyone bought their 200). Sales drop off like a rock after a few weeks.

It doesn't matter if the songs downloaded are freely cpoyrighted or somehow copy protected (which would be bypassed) they could get passed around.

The key will be - is it cheaper to get the song from apple for a few cents, rather than use some P2P sharing program where you can't trust the music you get to be hassel-free?

Make money in the ipods and switchers...not music (2, Interesting)

inblosam (581789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890170)

I don't know if I am off the deep end, but it seems to me Apple didn't figure they would make BILLIONS off of selling songs for 99 cents.

I do think they figured they would be able to sell their iPods at an increasing rate (which they have a much better profit margin on; 110,000 new iPods ordered this last week). They also are opening their arms to a new customer base, music-lovers. Now music-lovers will buy an iPod because they are amazing, but then will think: "if this is so cool, I should try the new iBook or PowerBook". Then Apple makes more profit there too. Who agrees? This is where they make their money, and then they have an Apple customer for life. Not bad for starting with a 99 cent sale.

I am an Apple customer for life, but mine started with 2500 dollars for a PowerBook. :) Either way, life is easier with an Apple.

Recordz (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5890173)

I think they should get a platinum record or something.

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