Friday, March 09, 2007

An Inside Look at Apple's iTunes Promotional Machine

Frequently, I use my blog to highlight certain articles from other publications that I consider to be "must reads" for those interested broadly in digital media. Today is one of those days. On page W1 of today's The Wall Street Journal, Nick Wingfield and Ethan Smith give an inside look at Apple's iTunes' promotional machine and the importance to artists and labels of iTunes' attention (promotion and "product placement" within the iTunes store). Tuhin Roy of Digital Music Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMGI) -- a leading digital media content aggregator that works closely with iTunes and other online stores -- is quoted within the story (note: I sit on the board of DMGI). The Wall Street Journal properly calls iTunes "Music's New Gatekeeper", given the growing importance of online music sales and promotion to the industry -- and Apple's consistent leadership position in that space in terms of market share. Not discussed in that article is how a world stripped of DRM (digital rights management) could impact Apple's position.