Apple Expands iTunes Marketing With Affiliate Program, Volume Discounts

Apple has announced some aggressive new marketing tools to help expand the reach of the iTunes Music Store. The company has launched an affiliate program that allows Web sites to earn a commission for sending traffic to the iTunes Music Store. Apple also announced today a volume discount programs for businesses and large institutions, and a special program specifically for schools.

Appleis affiliate program allows Web sites to link to songs, artists, and audio-books on the iTunes Music Store, and receive a 5% commission on sales that result from click-throughs (see Appleis affiliate program Web site for details). The company is providing marketing materials and a newsletter to affiliate members.

Apple is also holding a giveaway for an iPod mini for people who sign up to be an affiliate member between now and September 15th as an incentive for Web sites to sign up.

An affiliate program of this nature will encourage people to link to the iTMS when talking about or otherwise linking to songs. Many people already link to the iTMS in their blogs, in music reviews, in news coverage, and when making recommendations to people they know. Giving people the opportunity to earn a commission for doing so could dramatically step up these kinds of Web links to the iTMS. With Microsoft entering the online music fray shortly, this could be an important tool for Apple to help keep outside focus on Appleis music store.

For more details on Appleis affiliate program, visit Appleis affiliate Web site.

Apple has also introduced two volume discount programs. The first is called iTunes Volume Discount Program, and through it, Apple is offering companies and schools the opportunity to pre-buy large quantities of iTunes songs at a discount. According to Apple, the program "provides groups the ability to purchase a batch of individual codes, good for redemption of free song downloads at the iTunes Music Store which they can use for promotional giveaways, incentive programs, sweepstakes prizes and other valuable customer offers."

Apple says that Ben & Jerryis, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the W Hotels chain have already participated i this program. You can find more information on the iTunes Volume Discount Program at Appleis Web site.

The other program is tailored more specifically at colleges and universities, and is called simply "iTunes on Campus." The program offers schools a free site license for Appleis free iTunes software. Through this program, schools can then participate in the above mentioned affiliate program, helping to raise money through legal download music purchases from their students.

Apple says that more than 55 colleges have already signed up for the program. You can find more information on iTunes on Campus at Appleis Web site.