Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Apple to Take iTunes Store 3G?

Apple is looking into selling songs from its iTunes store directly to iPhones over the 3G broadband network, according to a New York Times report. “They want a big launch in June,” said one label executive familiar with the discussions.

Apple is apparently looking into expanding its ringtone inventory as well. Apple offers ringtones as a 99-cent upgrade to its regular 99-cent music tracks, but not all tracks can be converted into ringtones. Currently ringtones must be downloaded over Wi-Fi through the iTunes store. A direct to phone download over 3G would be much more convenient.

Also suggested is that Apple may be looking to add answer tones, also known as ringback tones. These are songs that a caller hears instead of the “ring ring” sound while waiting for someone to answer.

Music labels are negotiating to receive more money for ringtones and ringback tones. They also want to be paid more for an over-the-air download than a standard track bought over the internet, where the wholesale price is about 70 cents.

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