April 28, 2003
Apple Throws Down the Gauntlet

Apple has created an iTunes store with 200,000 songs for downloading. Using the site includes 30 free previews and cd cover art which quotes Steve Jobs as saying, "AND it's not stealing -- it's good karma." So 5% of the market is covered, but what about the rest? I wonder if it will put a dent in Kazaa users sharing 1 billion files. But something viable for the PC needs to be offered, too, so this might be the Pepsi challenge for the RIAA....

Other IP thoughts: Matt Morse pointing out that Saturday was World Intellectual Property Day. They even have a cartoon explaining their ideas about IP (pdf) which he cannot quite believe. Among other things, they point out that animals cannot make intellectual property. Check it out.

Meanwhile Harry Shearer has been talking about overall music industry strategy: Sue Your Customers! (htm). He suggests instead that the industry target older customers for sales because they have more money than time, are less likely to pirate music and more likely to purchase....

Posted by Mary Hodder at April 28, 2003 08:04 AM | TrackBack

When you say "30 free previews", don't you mean "free 30 second previews [of all the songs available on the service]". It's this slickness and convenience that Jobs was trumpeting as it's major selling point over Kazaa, whose strengths and weaknesses he went through in the presentation.

Posted by: Michael Williams on April 29, 2003 03:19 AM

As for the rest:

Initially, it only works on Macintosh computers, but by year's end, Apple plans to make it compatible with devices using the nearly ubiquitous Microsoft Windows platform - as it did for its portable iPod music player. Then, the service could have mass appeal.

Quoted here. Hopefully that'll pre-empt any Microsoft 'innovations.'

Posted by: Raena on April 29, 2003 05:41 AM

Mary and all, what a great site! Thanks for the link as well. I will check in regularly to see what I have missed in the world of IP. Re the Apple Music dealie: I am non-Apple myself, but we have had some reports already from users (and Apple heads, of course) which are pretty interesting:

Posted by: Eric Olsen on April 29, 2003 04:20 PM

ooh, the link didn't show up, it's here

Posted by: Eric Olsen on April 29, 2003 04:23 PM

There are some of us Mac heads that hope the service becomes a compelling reason to buy Mac, and therefore make the Mac market robust again. Therefore, we hope Apple waits as long as possible before rolling it out to Windows!

Posted by: John Battelle on April 29, 2003 07:07 PM

Yes, it is correct that the service offers 30 second previews. Some articles had reported that it offered 30 free previews, and at the writing of the post, the site itself was not available because it had so much traffic.

However, I agree that this offering will cause people on the fence to choose Apple over something else. Although if Apple opens the store to support other platforms that may change.

Posted by: Mary Hodder on April 30, 2003 06:30 AM

The Register claims Apple made nearly 100K in profits in day one of the service. At that rate...well...it's quite a business for them (and this is only for Mac OS X users!), and if it continues, may be on its was to proving what all of us sense is obvious...new distribution forms can work if priced and featured intelligently.

Posted by: John Battelle on May 2, 2003 08:20 AM
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