WSJ Report: Apple iTunes 'The New Gatekeeper'
March 9, 2007 at 5:48 AM (PT)
Today's WALL STREET JOURNAL features an article on the "behind the scenes" workings of APPLE's iTUNES. It reports that every day the roughly 1 million people who visit the iTUNES Store home page are presented with several dozen albums, TV shows and movie downloads to consider buying -- out of the 4 million such goods the APPLE site offers. This prime promotion is analogous to a CD being displayed at the checkout stands of all 940 BEST BUY stores or featured on the front page of TARGET's ad circular.
Who decides whether ARCADE FIRE is plugged at the top of the iTUNES site -- or whether NICKELBACK gets no mention?
APPLE has jettisoned some of the conventions of traditional music retailing -- notably, the practice of selling prime promotional spots to recording companies willing to pay for better visibility for their acts. But behind the scenes there's plenty of horse-trading going on that influences which songs are seen and purchased by iTUNES customers.
Read the full article here.