E-Commerce Times Talks To Chris Bell, Director Of Product Marketing For iTunes

From the built-in sound capabilities in the original Macintosh, to the widespread usage of Macs in music production and creation, the Macintosh has a long history of involvement in the digital music scene. Then came iTunes and later the iPod. According to an interview with Appleis Director of Product Marketing for iTunes, Chris Bell, all of these things together helped convince the music industry to let Apple try its hand at an online music store. Apple also told the record labels that the music store would sell a million songs in six months. The iTunes Music Store reached that figure in a week. From the interview at E-Commerce News:

When did Apple first start planning its iTunes initiative?

Chris Bell: Apple has had a digital music strategy for some time, even going back to the original Macintosh. That was the first computer that had sound included, after all. Since then, weive seen Macs used for years by professionals in the recording industry. I donit think thereis any music made today that wasnit touched by a Mac at some point. So, music has been part of our culture for 20 years, and iTunes just feels like a natural direction for us to take.

What were some of the challenges in building iTunes and the music store?

Bell: It was a big project, so there were many components to it, which could be a challenge. However, we thought of what we were doing as less of a challenge and more of an opportunity to build something that would be important for digital music.

That said, itis not trivial to build such a great infrastructure. It requires an incredible back end and software, and it required us to leverage all corners of the operation. We wanted to have QuickTime movie trailers, and an online commerce component, and everything else you see in iTunes now. And we had to put the pieces together in a way that the customer didnit see any of them, that they would just see a seamless application that was easy to use. It was an enormous amount of work.

You can read the full interview at E-Commerce Timesi Web site.