updated 08:15 pm EDT, Tue June 12, 2007
Apple's iTunes for Bebo
Apple today announced a deal that will expand its popular iTunes music service into the realm of social networking. The company on Wednesday announced a deal to embed its iTunes music download service into the Bebo website, according to The Financial Times. Initially, the deal will be limited to UK and Ireland, but could eventually extend to its entire user base of 33 million users. The San Francisco-based Bebo network has nearly 9 million users and 500,000 musicians in UK and Ireland--all of whom will now be able to buy music directly from the profile of any musician who has a Bebo profile and whose music is available on iTunes, making it the first time Apple has linked iTunes to a social networking site, the report claimed.
The report says that more than 4,000 bands sign up on the site each day, creating a huge selection of potential iTunes music.
"The deal with Bebo will give Apple a deeper reach into the market segment of 16- to 24-year-olds, who are both keen users of social networking sites, and key consumers of music," FT reported. "Some 32 percent of 16- to 24-year-old internet users visit social networking sites at least once a month, making the demographic the leader of the social networking trend."
Bebo will reportedly also offer a platform for iTunes to promote lesser-known artists. Much like iTunes current "Single of the Week" promo, the site will offer users a free music download each week in a continued effort to introduce new artists and releases.
The first free single will be 'Youth of Today' by Amy McDonald.