updated 04:20 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2007
Ad-supported Apple music?
A recent judgment by the UK Copyright Tribunal, on online royalty rates, may point towards Apple interest in ad-supported music services, reports say. The consultancy firm Music Ally has investigated the tribunal's decision, and notes that an Apple employee was a key witness. iTunes VP Eddie Cue is quoted as saying Apple would only pay advertising revenue if "that revenue is earned as a result of an advertisement, sponsorship or a click-through link located on a Licensed service...and only where the Licensed Service is offered to the User at a price which has been artificially depressed to reflect such revenue."
Cue later detailed the hypothetical service, suggesting he meant "placement of third party advertising at the start, end or during actual delivery of a Repertoire Work to a customer by way of a permanent download." This would contrast with services such as Napster's "Free" site, where users can stream the music, but not keep it. Other advertising models have sometimes involved inserting ads into the media itself.
Judge Fysh, the Queen's Counsel for the tribunal, is said to have remarked that "iTunes may well carry advertising in future -- hence their interest in these Applications." [via Tech Digest]