Apple Computer Inc. and Target Stores have partnered this week to offer customers a prepaid iTunes Music Store card. In addition, Target will feature iPod kiosks in its stores allowing people to get some hands on time with the iPod.
The $15.00 prepaid iTunes Music Store cards will be available in two areas of the Target stores: the CD section where customers traditionally purchase music and at the new iPod Kiosk. The kiosks will also feature accessories for the iPod.
“We think this broadens our reach in general,” Chris Bell, Director of Product Marketing for iTunes, told MacCentral. “There are many people that don’t want to put their credit card online and we want them to experience the iTunes Music store as well. This is a way to reach a whole new set of consumers — we also expect it to be a popular gift item with consumers.”
While the kiosks will offer consumers a chance to play with the iPod and see many of the accessories that are available for the device, there will not be a computer available for customers to try the iTunes Music Store or see how the iPod interacts with a computer.
Offering a prepaid digital music card in the same area as traditional CD sales will put the iTunes Music Store in front of consumers that may otherwise not consider purchasing music off of the Internet. Having iTunes in front of those consumers is an important part of expanding the reach of the online store, according to Bell.
“We see our customers are buying multi-formats, much the same way Hollywood does with movies,” said Bell. Music is evolving in the same way — of course we have our hardcore iTunes users who have gone completely digital, but many people are still buying CDs and we feel it’s important to have iTunes in front of those consumers.”
Currently, Target Stores in the United States is the only place that will offer the prepaid iTunes Music Store card. Bell would not comment on the future of the partnership or whether the prepaid card would be available at other retail locations in the future.
“We are focusing on a brand that is very compatible with ours and a customer base that we feel is very interested in the product. We’ll see where it goes from there.”