Will apple charge for Windows iTunes?

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I have been pondering about whether apple should charge for the windows version of iTunes.



We all know that apple should make a bundle off of the increased music downloads from PC users, but could this be an additional income stream.



Would people pay $29 for iTunes PC (free for mac users of course)? Or, should apple distribute it for free and count on song download revenue only?



I think they should ensure that it is a much better solution for windows users so they can charge for it ($29?), but maybe include one free album download from the store.



Agree / Disagree / Comments?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    It's an interesting question.

    Obviously, it would be free to any windows person who bought an iPod. However, I could see them charging other windows folks $20 for it. Sort of as a one time subcription fee
  • Reply 2 of 28
    alpha macalpha mac Posts: 463member
    It would not sell if thay chaged for it! Simple.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    If I were a Windows user who wanted to download music legally from the iTunes Music Store, I guess I'd be willing to pay $20 for iTunes for Windows. However, it would really bother me that I wouldn't be able to use my old generic MP3 player to listen to my legally purchased iTMS songs.



    That's actually something that bothers me with the Mac version as well. I don't currently own an MP3 player, but I think I would rather have a tiny shock- and waterproof 500MB solid state player than an iPod (like the Sony Sport Walkman of old). Of course, if I were to find such a player, I still couldn't play the music I've bought from the iTMS on it.



    My hunch is that we won't be able to buy iTunes for Windows without an iPod. Because you can't play your iTMS tunes on anything but an iPod either (on the road).



    Escher
  • Reply 4 of 28
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    If the ITMS gets popular with the windows crowd, though, I get the feeling new MP3 players would start to support AAC. Possibly even firmware upgrades for older ones, though that seems less likely.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Give it away with an iPod, set up the deal and give it away with AOL, charge $30 for the rest (not very many).
  • Reply 6 of 28
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    They should charge $20 but give you 20 free songs.



    Amorya
  • Reply 7 of 28
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    You guys really want this to fail don't you.



    a PC user is not going to spend $20 to run iTunes when they have Windows Media on every computer.



    You can't make it a conditional purchase with an iPod because an iPod isn't the sole way to listen to AAC files. Matter of fact 700k iPods sold is nothing comparied to the Millions of not Billions of computer users who like listening to music on their speakers attached to the computer.



    Neither of you paid for iTunes so why should PC user. Logic people. Apple stands to make a huge amount of profit from heavy PC use.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    If Apple doesn't require Mac users to pay ofr iTunes, they sure don't need PC users to pay. The advantage of having a free digital music library that is easier to use than WMP is all they need. Judging by the early success of the iTunes Music Store, they can recoup the development costs rather quickly via music sales.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Give it away with an iPod, set up the deal and give it away with AOL, charge $30 for the rest (not very many).
  • Reply 10 of 28
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bunge

    Give it away with an iPod, set up the deal and give it away with AOL, charge $30 for the rest (not very many).



    That's stupid. iPods are not the only way to listen to downloaded music files. Face it PC users are more valuable than Mac users where iTMS is concerned. Apple needs every Music lover with a PC and Credi Card trying this out. Pissing off PC users is not going to help promote the service.



    Apples stock is trading at $18 now because of the initial success of iTMS. Once can only imagine what the effects of Millions of PC users could have on Apples Bottomline. Get's me all mysty eyed
  • Reply 11 of 28
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    If they're smart -- and I think they will be -- they won't charge a dime.



    Amazon doesn't charge you for a special web browser just for the privelege of buying books from Amazon, do they? Charging Windows users for iTunes would be about the dumbest PR move Apple could make.



    Even if development costs were US $2-3 million (and I doubt they'd be that high), after few weeks of music sales from FREE software -- software that will be in a lot more hands faster if it's free -- the development costs would be covered.



    Besides all the money to make from selling music itself, iTunes for Windows is, in my opinion, very likely being thought of by Apple as a way to buy some major mind share in the Windows world. "Look at cool stuff Apple makes. How about buying an iPod? How about maybe a whole Mac system with even more cool stuff?"



    The value of iTunes both as an Apple promotional tool and as a source of music-related revenue is worth hugely more to Apple than trying to make a few misguide bucks trying to sell the iTunes software.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    The idea is to have as many people as possible to register their credit card at the Apple Store.



    And have the iMac scattered around the music store.



    "So let me try buying bridge over troubled water (click). Hmm. That was easy. Wow I can also buy Graceland (click). And the 8 miles soundtrack (click), and a superdrive iMac (click) and Afterburner (click)"



    The power of 1-click buy baby.



    So free iTunes for the opressed.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    Agreed. The cheaper iTunes is, the closer Apple will get to have a Windows user to download it and click "Buy" just one time. (Much like an addiction, which threads here and at Ars are describing it as).



    Not to mention purely PR statements: "iTW (iTunes for Windows) has been downloaded 20 million times." That right there is worth three points on the stock regardless of how many of these downloaders actually bought something. A price tag would be a barrier to this.



    Forgot another point...



    Oh! Success: This is not just a product or service, this is a new economical and distribution model. Napster and P2P were a beta of this model which proved that "Yes, distributing music over the Internet can work on practical, engineering terms." iTMS is the full One-point-Oh which must prove in the post-dotcom-bust tech-economy-backlash that this model can generate money.



    [Sidebar] I drove by a Spec's Music store tonight and thought, "Plastic disc warehousing. How pointless."



    Screed
  • Reply 14 of 28
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    No, make it free. To everyone. iTunes is a music playback and encoding program... but more importantly (to Apple at least) it's a store for buying stuff from Apple. Don't charge someone money to walk into your store... entice them while they're in the store and get them to buy stuff from you.



    Maybe they could have "Lite" and "Full" versions - the Lite version is free, and the Full version has more features and costs, say, $10 to upgrade. Either way, you get the store. But perhaps Lite will not have the ability to burn audio CDs from within the application, or maybe it'll have a maximum bitrate you can encode at.



    Actually, screw that. Full version for free. I think Apple needs to show Windows users that they are friends, rather than punishing them for using a different OS. They won't make any friends that way, and they certainly won't make much money that way.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    bodhibodhi Posts: 1,424member
    By all means...charge $9.95 for iTunes for Windows. Apple is out to make money from something other than hardware sales and I think this would be a good source of revenue. People wil pay for it. Honestly though I think Apple is waiting to see the hype machine for the store and how well it does and how much word of mouth it gets. If it looks like a lot of demand for it on PC, I say take advantage of it and charge em!
  • Reply 16 of 28
    netromacnetromac Posts: 863member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bunge

    Give it away with an iPod, set up the deal and give it away with AOL, charge $30 for the rest (not very many).



    Agree, though I think $30 is too much for most windows users - it should be max $19.90 - it would still earn Apple some money if a few millions of pc-users purchased it.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bodhi

    By all means...charge $9.95 for iTunes for Windows. Apple is out to make money from something other than hardware sales and I think this would be a good source of revenue. People wil pay for it. Honestly though I think Apple is waiting to see the hype machine for the store and how well it does and how much word of mouth it gets. If it looks like a lot of demand for it on PC, I say take advantage of it and charge em!



    Here's the problem I see with it...



    Without serial key activation, there's nothing stopping iTunes for Windows being distributed on P2P networks and other warez channels.



    Even with serial keys, it wouldn't be too long before a keygen appeared on astalavista.box.sk anyway.



    Nobody likes a cover charge...



    iTunes is merely the the delivery vehicle. Hook the people with the free music jukebox...let them get addicted to buying music with instant gratification at their fingertips.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    I'm on the free boat,

    the only reason any wind'er user would want to Get itunes for there PC is to Buy music from it, and if they bought an iPod. They have lots of already established MP3 players/encoders why would they pay for something that came from apple? if it were free, you can bet everyone would want it.

    Its getting it on their Computers, once there they'll see the store and that will get more people interested in buying music. You see? get in on as many computers as possible and expose as many people as possible to the store and apples Generosity.

    my two bits.

    flick.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    I've been struggling with this (as Apple has too, I'm sure).



    Some points to consider:



    1. Some people will wish to purchase music for listening only on their laptop or desktop PC (i.e., no portable music player).



    2. I don't believe that you CAN play the "secure AAC" files (or whatever they are called) on any other portable music player than the iPod. Apple is clearly trying to drive revenue for iPod, Macs AND the music service. Fine.



    3. Apple wants to drive people to its hardware platform as well (unless this is the beginning of a transition away from that model). That being said, there are certain benefits of buying/owning a Mac...including FREE versions of great software. If you choose NOT to own a Mac, why should you also benefit from getting FREE versions of great software? (Just asking here.)



    4. Any company wants to make it as easy as possible to spend money with them. Thus making iTunes FREE would qualify.



    5. A small/nominal fee (say $9.95 - 19.95) would NOT be unreasonable at all to gain access to the coolest music service available.



    All of these points make it even more difficult to say what the "right" thing to do is.



    However, in the end, my bet...it will be a FREE download (and you may also see some new "free-ness" to QT Pro as well.



    It is a delicate balance between "giving away the razors and selling the blades" and losing money.



    The day and age of everything for free (during the "dot com boom") is over.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    bill mbill m Posts: 324member
    iTunes for Windows has to be free a free download.

    Why? Simple. QuickTime. Think of it as a modern Trojan Horse on steroids.



    This is the best chance Apple has ever had to really push QT for PCs. And we all know the importance of QT in Apple's Digital Lifestyle strategy. Selling aac songs to QuickTime enabled PCs will do wonders to grow consumer acceptance and marketshare of QT multimedia platform. Hopefully this will also help reverse the current growing trend of WMA enabled devices on the market, like Alpine's line of car audio.



    How will this help the Mac platform per se? Well, with the increased revenue from millions of PC users buying songs from iTMS as well as the upcoming (rumored) killer 970 hardware, prices for Mac system can only go down making it much easier for switchers and upgraders. Growing 5% in marketshare during the next 18 months is finally plausible.
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