Pui-Wing Tam reports for the
Wall Street Journal that Steve Jobs’ personal involvement has helped Apple’s as-yet-unannounced music service secure rights to most of The Eagles’ recordings.
The popular 70’s rock band has been a holdout for other legitimate digital music services that have asked to include the band’s catalog in their libraries. Irving Azoff, the Eagle’s manager, said that he hasn’t liked other online services, but he liked Apple’s.
The article cites Apple’s decision to move into the digital music publication business as a way for the company to grow its business despite faltering marketshare in the personal computer industry. The Journal suggests that Apple and Jobs have promised record executives that it will focus marketing efforts on getting out word about the new music service with an advertising campaign to rival its “Think Different” and “Switch” campaigns.
Reportedly, Apple’s new service will be integrated with iTunes and will work solely with Macs, at least for now. Users will be charged $0.99 per song and $10 or so per album. The Journal article also sheds some light on the digital rights protection scheme Apple’s service may use — apparently, it will be more difficult to use iPods to transfer songs between computers, and users won’t be able to e-mail or otherwise transfer songs to their friends’ computers. The service will also allow legitimate users to play the songs on up to three Macs and an unlimited number of registered iPods, however.
The Journal also notes that Apple has also licensed the music of No Doubt — another band that has been recalcitrant to see its works distributed electronically — and other artists that haven’t yet gone online. As a result, Apple’s music service is to have an “Exclusives” area showcasing some of these unique artists.