Apple to debut ‘simple, speedy’ Mac-only online music service

“Top executives at the major record companies have finally found an online music service that makes them excited about the digital future, but it’s only for Macs.”

“The new service was developed by Apple Computer Inc., sources said Monday, and offers users of Macintoshes and iPod portable music players many of the same capabilities that already are available from services previously endorsed by the labels. But the Apple offering won over music executives because it makes buying and downloading music as simple and non-technical as buying a book from”

“‘This is exactly what the music industry has been waiting for,’ said one person familiar with the negotiations between the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker and the labels. ‘It’s hip. It’s quick. It’s easy. If people on the Internet are actually interested in buying music, not just stealing it, this is the answer.'”

“That ease of use has music executives optimistic that the Apple service will be an effective antidote to surging piracy on the Internet, sources said…”

“Although no licensing deals have been announced, sources close to the situation say at least four of the five major record companies have committed their music to the Apple service. It could be launched next month…”

“An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the service Monday, as did representatives from the five major record corporations: Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi Universal’s Universal Music Group, AOL Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann’s BMG division and EMI Group.”

“The new service is so important to Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs that he personally demonstrated it to top executives at all five companies, sources said. More than a dozen music executives have visited Apple since last summer and came away enthusiastic.”

“The executives also like the massive marketing plan designed by Jobs to educate consumers about the service,” reports Jon Healey for the LA Times. Full article here.

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