Fortune Takes An Indepth Look At Apple’s iTunes Music Store, Music Industry, More

The top story in the latest issue of Fortune Magazine (both in print and online) is -- you guessed it -- Appleis iTunes Music Store. As announced today, the iTunes Music Store allows users to download songs for 99¢ a piece, or US$10 per album. Fortune takes a look at the current online music climate, and compares Appleis services to the mostly flawed and failed services offered by the record labels. A small excerpt from the Fortune article:

Steve Jobs loves music. But as with a lot of geeks in Silicon Valley, his musical tastes are a little retro. He worships Bob Dylan and is the kind of obsessive Beatles fan who can talk your ear off about why Ringo is an underappreciated drummer.

So Dr. Dre, the rap-music Midas whose proteges include Snoop Dogg and Eminem, is the last person youid expect to see huddled with Jobs, for hours on end, at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. No, they werenit discussing whether John or Paul was the more talented Beatle. Rather, Steve had invited Dr. Dre up from Los Angeles for a private demonstration of Appleis latest product. After checking it out, Dre had this to say: "Man, somebody finally got it right."

The product that wowed him was the iTunes Music Store, a new digital service for Mac users offering songs from all five major music companies--Universal, Warner, EMI, Sony, and BMG. Though Apple had yet to sell a single song by the time FORTUNE went to press, Jobs is already causing a stir in the record business. Forget about rumors that Apple is bidding for Vivendiis Universal Music Group, the worldis largest record company. Jobs says he has absolutely no interest in buying a record company.

The real buzz in the music trade is that Steve has just created what is easily the most promising legal digital music service on the market. "I think itis going to be amazing," says Roger Ames, CEO of the Warner Music Group. Jobs, not surprisingly, is even more effusive. He claims his digital store will forever change not only how music is sold and distributed but also the way artists release and market songs and how they are bought and used by fans.

You can read the full article at Fortuneis Web site. Also be sure to check out Fortuneis short review of the new iPods.

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