The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting what the LA Times reported last month, that Apple will be launching its own online music service. The WSJis piece offers the same basic information that the Timesi offered -- the company will launch the service, which will integrate with iTunes, that songs will be priced at approximately US$.99, and that all five of the major music labels have signed on (at the time, the Timesi reported it was 4 of the top 5 labels) -- but strangely the report has been repeated by a variety of mainstream and Mac sites alike as a brand new concept.
The article, written by Pui-Wing Tam and Anna Wilde Mathews, also says that the service will be Mac-only. We quote the article from the Australian Financial Review, as the WSJ requires a subscription:
Mr Jobsis Apple Computer Inc will be launching its own music service in coming weeks, with songs from all five major record labels.
The new music service will be integrated with Appleis iTunes music software, which is used to organise and play MP3 music files. Instead of selling subscriptions, it is expected to focus on individual songs, charging consumers about US99¢ each for most tracks.
The service is said to be more consumer-friendly than most of the other legitimate online-music services, with a simplicity that makes it easy for consumers to purchase a song and move it to the popular Apple iPod devices. But it will only be available to Mac users, who comprise only about 5 per cent of the global market.
By launching his own service, Mr Jobs also is filling a crucial need for his line of Mac computers. Currently, most other online music services - including the record-label backed services pressplay and MusicNet, as well as Listen.comis Rhapsody service - do not support Appleis Macintosh software. Appleis audience remains tiny, despite the launch of Apple retail stores, new products such as servers and other new hardware and software.
You can read the full WSJ article at the Financial Reviewis Web site.