AOL announces iTunes alliance with Apple in Europe

AOL announced today it has teamed up with Apple to integrate the popular iTunes Music Store throughout AOL Music channels in the UK, France and Germany, providing AOL Members with instant, one-click registration to the popular online music store in each of the three countries. The iTunes Music Store, which launched in the UK, France and Germany today, offers users the ability to preview, purchase and download music from a catalogue of more than 700,000 songs.

When iTunes is fully integrated, AOL members in the three countries will be able to directly access the iTunes Music Store by clicking on iTunes buttons integrated throughout AOL Music. AOL members will be able to use their AOL screennames and passwords to access the iTunes Music Store where they can search, preview and buy music as well as browse exclusive AOL/iTunes programming pages in the iTunes Music Store. Special offers from AOL for free iTunes downloads and iPods, giveaways will be available to AOL Members as well. For more information, AOL members can go to AOL Keyword: iTunes.

“We are delighted that Apple has chosen AOL as its partner at the launch of the iTunes Music Store for the UK, France and Germany,” said Philip Rowley, President, AOL Europe in the press release. “AOL is committed to providing our members the best and most comprehensive music services and exclusive content. With the integration of iTunes, they will have one-click access to the pioneering iTunes Music Store.”

“As we roll out the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany, we are also pleased to be expanding our relationship with AOL,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing in the press release. “By joining forces, we are making it easy for AOL Members to preview and buy music from the iTunes Music Store as a natural extension of their AOL Music experience.”

Over the course of the next several weeks, AOL UK, AOL France and AOL Germany will conduct promotional sweepstakes giving members the chance to win iPods and free downloads from the iTunes Music Store. AOL UK members, for example, will have the chance to win one of 29 iPod minis, and a grand prize 40-gigabyte iPod with a certificate code for 1,000 free songs, as well as giveaways to AOL members of tens of thousands of iTunes Music Store tracks.

This alignment comes as interest in legitimate music download services has skyrocketed. According to Nielsen SoundScan data, digital singles beat physical single sales by a margin of more than 6 to 1 by the end of last year. iTunes Music Store customers have downloaded more than 85 million songs from the iTunes Music Store since its launch in the U.S. last April.

AOL UK: AOL’s agreement with Apple builds on the strong heritage of the AOL Music channel in the UK, which attracts more than one million unique visitors on a monthly basis. Recent exclusives from groups such as the Sugababes and the Scissor Sisters performing in intimate surroundings for Sessions@AOL, and a deal to stream footage from the Carling Weekend: Reading Festival, have further strengthened AOL’s position in the market.

AOL Germany: AOL Germany sees the integration of iTunes as an ideal complement to its existing Music channel. iTunes will be integrated both throughout AOL’s Music channel and in the Computer & Technology channel. AOL’s exclusive collaboration with iTunes underscores its proficiency in matters of music and entertainment.

AOL France: The integration of iTunes into AOL France is another milestone in our commitment to provide our AOL France members with a wide range of legal music services and content to meet their needs. The iTunes integration is part of a series of new services that AOL France will be announcing, which will change the online music experience for our French members.

AOL Europe, a business unit of America Online, Inc., which is the world’s leading interactive services company with more than 32 million members worldwide. America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. America Online is the world’s leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

46 Comments

  1. For those of you wondering (as I often do) what purpose AOL has in this world, you need only to own a WBFH (Wintel Box From Hell). AOL actually does them a service by making their internet/email nightmare somewhat manageable.

    AOL is obviously only concerned about immediate profits, because in the long run, AOL Music –> iTunes/iPod –> Buy a Mac –> Drop AOL.

    Granted, I still have one friend that has AOL on his Mac, and he is very well aware that he is paying double for his internet service (AOL + local ISP), but it is something he is comfortable with. Until AOL gives him the problems that his WBFH gave him, he’ll (sadly) stay right where he is at. Perhaps, one night, I’ll get him drunk and being more open to suggestion, convince him to move everything over to Mail on his Mac, and then drop AOL.

  2. As much as I’m not a fan of AOL, I can’t see anything bad about this deal. And it makes sense that the partnership that AOL has with Apple here in the US would continue with the iTMS Europe launch. I think it’s so successful for AOL, that they’d be fools not to keep up the same partnership across the pond.

  3. As much as I think this is a good deal for Apple and AOL, I have a small gripe that is really nothing but an issue of semantics. I am a proud American, as of late (since GWB has been in office), I cringe at the idea of the word “America” being pushed on people in other countries. AOL stands for America OnLine, and frankly, folks in Germany and the UK can certainly get themselves online without America’s help ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> I know, I know, it’s just the corporation’s name, with international operations, but AOL should seriously considering renaming their foreign operations. It’s just my quirky opinion, but I think that a global company should have global name. Maybe it does, and I’m just unaware. That’s my 2 cents, but as a concerned American, I wish we could pull our name from being the “standard” in the global community. I guess it’s a vague feeling of shame. Not ashamed to be American, but ashamed that George W. wants everybody to be American.

  4. Hey Crunge. Shame is one thing but frankly that man needs to be impeached and sent to the world tribunal. A child can see that. What are you yanks waiting for, the UN?

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