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iTunes Introduces New Purchasing Method

Gordon Kelly


iTunes Introduces New Purchasing Method

So how does iTunes respond to the threat posed by Spotify, with this...?!

Looking very much at the small picture, Apple has this week launched 'iTunes Pass' in conjunction with EMI - an announcement so small (it skipped the Cupertino Hot News section altogether) I admittedly missed it until now.

To be fair, such downplaying is probably wise since all iTunes Pass does is offer customers a deal enabling them to download content from a specific artist over a set period of time. For example, the scheme launches with Depeche Mode and enables customers to pre-order their impending 12th studio album 'Sounds of the Universe' (due for release on 21 April) DRM free for $18.99. On top of this iTunes Pass entitles these buyers to the current single 'Wrong', the Black Light Odyssey Dub remix of new track 'Oh Well' and any other exclusive audio and video content the band releases over the next 15 weeks.

"iTunes Pass is a great way for artists to give exclusive music and video, on their own schedule, directly to their fans." said Apple VP of Internet Services, Eddy Cue. "iTunes customers are going to love getting additional content directly from their favorite artists right when they make it available."

I'm sorry but my bullsh1t-o-meter is about to explode. What nonsense. Not only is the scheme a pointless way to lock users into bigger purchases from a medium which already offers near instant content it does so at a premium. In fact, so fine is the iTunes Pass concept that Depeche Mode is the only artist to currently be signed up and any future agreements are so far limited to the stable of launch partner EMI.

For now iTunes Pass is also only available in the US, something I'm sure you're heartbroken about. Back to the drawing board.

Spotify please stop laughing.


Ok. Fine.


12641~1568634 00.html Press Release via EMI

Tony Walker

February 26, 2009, 5:28 am

I was going to say that bullsh1t-ometer should have been bullsh1t radar but as the bullsh1t was actually happening, you neded to measure it, so the bullsh1t-ometer is probably correct.

Back on the subject; are Apple finally missing the point?


February 26, 2009, 5:58 am

Slightly off topic but I just noticed the ads on Spotify now pause whenever I press the mute button and carry on when I unmute :( Damn, now I have to listen to them....looks like I'm going to be &#16310 a month worse off.

*Tries to find something to say on topic*

Uhhh, yeah that sucks. Even harder than iTunes already did.


February 26, 2009, 6:26 am

so you mean to say you bother to stop what your doing to be it work on your pc or relaxing listening to the music to go mute a 15 second ad every 30 minutes heaven forbid you ever listen to the radio with all their ads.

also if you really want to mute the ads just do it through the speakers if it's on pc speakers or turn the volume down if you pump it through a hi fi

Michael Hailu

February 26, 2009, 6:29 am

I am no expert on laws in general but could this case bear any resemblance to the Microsoft bundling its own software monopoly Act if Apple decides to ban spotify?

Anti competition anyone? Protectionist attitude in a time where one is warned against it? I doubt...hope actually, that Apple don't ban it.


February 26, 2009, 7:25 am

Well, they're quite different circumstances really. I never listen to the radio, ever, unless I'm forced to. There's just too much cr*p in between anything worth listening to. When I use Spotify it's mostly on my laptop, not at home, and I'm either relaxing listening to music or working. Hearing a pointless ad (which is usually at a far greater volume than the songs are) after every 3 (4 if I'm lucky) songs in an album just ruins the listening experience for me. Or if I'm working, I tend to lose my train of thought when someone starts shouting through my headphones at me. Maybe on second thoughts it's just not for me, but it is a very good idea and, generally speaking, a well executed one.

But I do accept, though, that I am unusually intolerant of adverts. That's what Sky+ is for.

Tony Walker

February 26, 2009, 9:46 am


Can you tell me the secret of controlling a Sky+ box through FF-ing through an Ad break - it's like plaiting fog. Tivo's are so much easier.


February 26, 2009, 2:46 pm

Still, nice logo. Though you could say the same about certain other tyrannical regime changes.


February 26, 2009, 3:18 pm

Just tried Spotify, BTW. It's a great... full preview service.


February 26, 2009, 4:23 pm

Is it me or does the logo look like a plan view of Kerplunk? ;)


February 26, 2009, 5:56 pm

I was a bit sceptical about Spotify until I gave it a bash. Not only is it a great service it is also a brilliantly useful tool if, like me, you like to rake the likes of NME for new acts to like and want to preview them in full before buying a cd.

Forget iTunes for buying music, for me Spotify has in a roundabout way brought back my interest in buying cds again rather than downloading.


February 26, 2009, 7:11 pm

@Tony - I'm with you on Sky+ - I only replaced my 7 year old Tivo last month when I gave way to Sky HD. Ironically, it's like stepping back in time. I wish I could just show someone at Sky my Tivo box and say 'Look, this is how it's supposed to be done'.

*Thinks of something on topic...*

It's not like Apple's trying to push this or anything, it'll just sink without a trace.

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