In a few weeks time a senior Apple US executive will take up residence in Sydney. Her sole objective will be to expand the Apple iTunes business spanning both music and video downloads in Australia.
Currently Apple is exploring new ways to market and sell music videos in bulk as interest in downloadable video grows. In a first, iTunes in the US is selling all the clips from Tori Amos’ “Fade to Red” — a 21-song music video collection released on DVD via Rhino Entertainment — as individual downloads for $1.99 each or as a complete package for $24.99.
The iTunes Music Store has been steadily selling one-off music videos of current and catalog hits for $1.99 apiece since late last year. But the company is just now moving into higher-margin packages.
The Tori Amos offer is part of Apple’s larger video bundling push that includes iTunes-only “video albums” (offers of six to seven videos from an artist that have not been released as physical collections) and “vingles” (a bundled offer of a video and its corresponding single).
Apple officials expect video collections to be a growing trend. “It’s a natural fit,” says Eddie Cue, vice president of applications for Apple. “These are not replacements for people buying individual songs or albums. But they’re great for well-established artists with a fan base behind them that wants more product.”
John Whitherspoon, Amos’ manager, says that the rising number of consumers who have video iPods or other portable video players gives artists new opportunities to expose videos that were not available through cable music channels.
Cue says some of the most exciting opportunities involve products that have no equivalent in the physical world. “We are taking advantage of the medium,” he says. “This is the stuff that you can only do in digital music.”
Indeed, Apple has worked with such bands as Green Day and Foo Fighters to sell special “video albums” that compile a number of their respective videos not available for sale in stores.
Another area of opportunity is vingles, which take advantage of demand for hit songs by selling the video and a music download together for $1.99. iTunes is selling vingles from such acts as Nelly, the Pussycat Dolls and Josh Turner.
“Over time there is no reason why we can’t have a vingle for every video,” Cue says. “Not every song has a video, but every video has a song.”