Catching up on iTunes news: NBC wants back on iTunes, but with conditions

Catching up on iTunes with NBC Universal, Fox and Paramount, Amazon MP3, and Starbucks.

NBC wants back on iTunes, but with conditions

George Kliavkoff, NBC Universal’s chief digital officer, indicated indirectly and directly at the Ad: Tech conference that NBC would like to be back on iTunes, which the network dumped in late 2007 over a nasty public spat about pricing.

kliavkoffIndirectly, Kliavkoff said during an on-stage interview at the conference, “If you look at studies about MP3 players, especially leading MP3 players and what portion of that content is pirated, and think about how that content gets onto that device, it has to go through a gate-keeping piece of software, which would be a convenient place to put some anti-piracy measures.”

Directly, Kliavkoff said, “We’d love to be on iTunes”, but only if Apple institutes more anti-piracy measures. “It has a great customer experience,” he said. “We’ve love to figure out a way to distribute our content on iTunes.”

The timing is interesting. iTunes is now the largest music retailer, and while the video side of the store (TV shows and movies) has not reached the same level, it still benefits from the overall iTunes brand and music traffic. Since NBC bolted, no other major network or studio has followed, leaving NBC standing alone.

Think NBC regrets its decision?

If it does, NBC doesn’t appear to be budging. In addition to the extra anti-piracy protection, the network would also like to see flexible pricing on iTunes, which doesn’t seem to be likely anytime soon.

(via and NewTeeVee)

Photo credit of Kliavkoff: at Ad:Tech

Fox, Paramount join Disney selling new releases on iTunes

junoTwentieth Century Fox and Paramount have joined Disney as the only major studios to offer new releases for purchase through iTunes, notes iLounge.

Tuesday Fox began offering Academy Award-nominated “Juno” for purchase, the same day the DVD and Blu-ray versions were released. Paramount is offering “Beowulf” for purchase shortly after its release on Feb. 26. Paramount also offered “Jackass 2.5” on the Web a week before it was released on DVD.

Variety quotes a Fox rep saying it’s likely the studio will offer more new releases on a title-to-title basis. Paramount is only “experimenting” with selling new releases. Both studios currently provide films for the iTunes movie rental service.

Wonder how these will do and if they will have any effect on iTunes selling more films. That would be nice — and needed — for movie purchase/rental portion of iTunes to ultimately be successful.

Amazon MP3 is not affecting iTunes sales

The NPD Group released a report the other day that said Amazon MP3’s growth has not come at the expense of iTunes, as one might expect. NPD said that only 10 percent of Amazon MP3’s customers had previously bought music through iTunes, indicating that Amazon is building its own user base independent of other online stores.

NPD cites demographic differences between Amazon MP3 and iTunes, now the No. 2 and No. 1 online music stores, respectively. Amazon has a greater following among males (64 percent to 44 percent), but iTunes is more popular among the all-important teen-age crowd (18 percent to 3 percent).

NPD says that the data suggests that the digital music market is bigger than we think and that it’s growing beyond early adopters, teens, Apple fans, and the iTunes community.

“The fact that Amazon’s early growth does not appear to be at the expense of Apple iTunes is a healthy indication that the digital music customer pool can expand into new customer groups who have not yet joined the iTunes community,” NPD analyst Russ Crupnick said in a statement.

Overall, I’m still interested in seeing if iTunes can keep its growth and dominate position in the market. I expect it can, but what percentage will Amazon MP3 and another online music venture, MySpace Music, wrestle from iTunes in the long run?

(via ArsTechnica)

Starbucks and iTunes team up for “Pick of the Week”

It sounds like a good promotion: Starbucks customers can get free music through iTunes.

Of course, nothing is free. That latte costs about $5 with an extra shot of espresso and sugar free vanilla.

And customers are locked into weekly music picked by Apple and Starbucks, which includes Counting Crows, Carly Simon, Duffy, Adele, Sia, and Hilary McRae — not bad artists, depending on your taste.

But I want to download what I want to listen to, not what someone thinks I should listen to.

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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