updated 01:00 pm EDT, Mon September 2, 2013
Bargain hunters can also grab free tunes from iTunes Festival
As part of its overall Back to School programs, Apple has slashed prices on a number of albums from popular and up-and-coming artists, pricing full albums between $7 and $8 for its iTunes Back to School sale. In addition, the company is offering six free tracks of music from artists associated with the iTunes Festival. The discounted albums would normally cost $10-15 each, while the six free songs are available through the iTunes Festival app for US-based users. The app also offers live video streaming of performances and more.
Apple has been increasing the amount of free content it offers of late in an effort to get more users aware of the iTunes and App Store eco-systems, including temporary sales on apps and movies as well as routine free apps or songs and books of the week. The promotions are usually tied to holidays or store milestones, but the introduction of a wider selection of discounted items rather than a small, occasional selection of free files is a fairly recent change in Apple's strategy.
Among the albums now discounted to $6.99 are Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, the eponymous album from The Lumineers, The Truth About Love from Pink, and recent albums from Blake Shelton, OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, Sara Bareilles, Lana Del Rey and the soundtrack to the movie Pitch Perfect. Some 70 albums are now priced at $7.99, and include the classic Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill, Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend, The National's Trouble Will Find Me, The World From the Side of the Moon by Phillip Phillips, Tegan and Sara's Heartthrob, along with recent albums by Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Empire of the Sun, John Mayer, the Black Keys, Macklemore, Selena Gomez, Bruno Mars and many others.
If users have already bought tracks from the albums that are now on sale, the price they paid for those tracks will be credited towards completing the album, according to the promotion email Apple has sent to iTunes customers. Thus, if a user bought three tracks from a currently-$7 album at $1.29 each, they could complete the album for as little as $3.12, regardless of the number of tracks.
The six free tracks offered through the iTunes Festival promotion will go off-sale at the end of October. Apple's email doesn't mention a expiration date for the discounted Back to School albums, but the promotion is likely to end sooner.