Apple Computer Inc. announced Friday that the U.S. version of its iTunes Music Store now accepts payments through PayPal, the popular electronic payment service owned by eBay. With PayPal, users can pay for their iTunes downloads using a “virtual wallet” that’s linked to a credit card, bank account or stored account balance. Apple also announced that the first 500,000 customers to open a new iTunes account using PayPal as their payment method before March 31, 2005 will receive five free songs.
“It makes sense for Apple and PayPal to work together,” PayPal spokesperson Sara Bettencourt told MacCentral. “We have a huge community of user accounts — 56 million worldwide. It’s really exciting for us because Apple and the iTunes Music Store have become such a big brand in the music business.”
Apple is the second major online music download service to strike a deal with PayPal, according to Bettencourt. Earlier this year, iTunes rival Napster also began to accept PayPal. Bettencourt attributes these moves partially to a change in the way
PayPal does business.
“Last December we announced new pricing for ‘micropayments,’ and that was a big deal for the music industry,” she explained.
The deal announced today only provides U.S. iTunes Music Store customers with the ability to use PayPal to pay for their songs; PayPal’s Bettencourt could not comment on plans to make the service available in iTunes Music Stores operating in other countries, and an Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment.