A few follow-up thoughts on the iTunes integrated store:
– Some comments on last night’s post led me to check out eMusic and yup, it’s very cool. Great service. But for me (and I suspect many others) the integration of the store into iTunes just makes sense and is going to result in me buying more music. Possibly a lot more. I don’t know how or why — it just feels much natural to use that little iTunes search window I use all the time to search on music I don’t already have than it is to go to an external web site. Also, the flat rate at eMusic means I would feel compelled to spend time surfing for music whether I need music this month or not. Don’t have much time for that these days and prefer not to feel compelled to shop.
– There are a dozen arguments we can level against the first incarnation of the service (not available internationally, only offers Big Popular music), but the fact is that the war between The Labels and The People over digital music downloads has been going on for several years now, with no signs of abating. What we need are major steps toward compromise, so the labels, the artists, and consumers all get what they want. This is what that compromise looks like. Not perfect from every angle, but also better than what we have now, ie bidirectional animosity and ongoing war. The service will improve over time. It just launched.
– Several complaints about albums costing too much to purchase digitally. Yup, that’s true, I’d agree with that but add that half the point here is that you don’t have to buy the album – you buy the tracks you like. If you want the whole album, why not just buy the CD? On the other hand, if they can offer substantive discounts on whole albums, I would be more inclined. Just saying that my approach has always been to purchase the whole album if I want the whole album and download songs if I just want songs. Nothing about this store changes that.
Anyway. Despite its imperfections, I still think this service is going to make huge inroads towards cracking the great nut of electronic music sales. Done right, everyone wins.