Apple Computer says it is on pace to launch a Windows-based version of the iTunes Music Store by the end of the year.

Apple Computer says it is on pace to launch a Windows-based version of the iTunes Music Store by the end of the year, Billboard Bulletin reports. In the afternoon keynote session yesterday (July 29) at the Jupiter Plug.In conference in New York, Peter Lowe, Apple's director of marketing for applications and services, said the company intends to launch a PC service with broad content-usage rights similar to those enjoyed by iTunes consumers using Mac computers.

Additionally, Apple says it has sold more than 300,000 iPod portable players since the bow of iTunes in April. Lowe maintained that Apple is not looking to music to serve as a loss-leader business for iPod sales.

Meanwhile, Plug.In attendees questioned whether the 99 cent download model employed by Apple and others will drive the digital music business going forward. "We still have a long way to go in terms of figuring out how everyone makes money in the space," Yahoo! Inc. VP/GM of music David Goldberg told attendees in a Billboard-moderated roundtable discussion on the state of the digital music business.

In the morning keynote address, Larry Kenswil, Universal Music Group eLabs president, said that in the near- to medium-term, he expects digital pricing to move away from a steady 99 cent download, with some tracks selling for more and a range of catalog material selling for less.

EMI Group executive VP John Rose said the market will experiment with a number of models this fall, as up to half a dozen companies debut digital music services.

J Records president/COO Charles Goldstuck said Apple's success is challenging the music industry to take more risks in regards to digital distribution. However, he cautioned that the industry is still looking for the right pricing model. He said prices for digital files will ultimately be dictated by the volume of business online.

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