Apple Announces Major iTMS Partnership With AOL

Apple announced a surprise alliance with AOL today that will bring iTunes directly to AOLis 25 million subscribers. Introduced at Appleis PR event in San Francisco earlier today, Steve Jobs demonstrated to the crowd how AOL users will find an "iTunes" button next to songs offered in AOLis music section. When users, Mac or Windows, click on the button, it will launch iTunes and take the person directly to the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) page for that song. AOLis customers will pay the same price as other iTMS users, and enjoy the same usage rights.

John Miller, CEO of AOL, joined Steve Jobs on stage at the event, praising Mr. Jobs and Apple for their work in bringing the iTMS to market. From Apple:

Apple and America Online, Inc., the worldis leading interactive services company, today announced an alliance to provide instant, one-click registration to the iTunes Music Store for AOLis more than 25 million U.S. members starting later this quarter. America Online will integrate links to iTunes artists, albums and songs throughout its leading music site, AOL Music, which will give members the option to link directly to the specific iTunes Music Store page to preview and buy music as they browse and read music news and reviews.

"Apple and AOL are making it easy for AOLis 25 million U.S. members to legally buy music online," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO. "With just one click, AOL members will be able to legally preview, purchase and download music from the iTunes Music Storeis catalog of more than 400,000 songs."

"Appleis iTunes Music Store is a runaway hit," said Jonathan Miller, chairman and CEO of America Online. "Today, Apple and AOL are uniting the number one music destination site, AOL Music, with the number one music download site, Appleis iTunes Music Store, to bring customers the most complete online digital music experience."

Appleis iTunes Music Store revolutionized the online music industry with its groundbreaking personal use rights and one-click download directly into iTunes, Appleis integrated digital jukebox software?all for just 99 cents per song. Since its launch six months ago, music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 13 million songs from the iTunes Music Store, making it the number one download music service. Apple today launched its second generation iTunes Music Store for both Mac and Windows users. With music from all five major music companies and over 200 independent music labels, the iTunes Music Store catalog is growing every day and will offer more than 400,000 songs by the end of October.

AOL Music reaches the largest audience of online music fans in the world, with more than 16 million monthly unique users, through a rich array of programming, products and services that make it easy to discover, experience, listen to and buy music online. Among the groundbreaking programs on AOL Music are advance previews of songs and videos before they are available anywhere else, live concerts and much more. AOL Musicis offerings are available at the number one Internet music destination, the AOL Music Channel, and throughout the AOL and AOL for Broadband services and America Onlineis family of Web brands including Netscape, CompuServe, AIM, ICQ, Spinner, Winamp and SHOUTcast.?Apple will offer selections of AOLis popular, original content such as Sessions@AOL and BroadBAND Rocks! through the iTunes Music Store.

You can find more information about AOL at its Web site.