March 9, 2007
News & Opinion: Promote Different.
There is a big article in the Wall Street Journal today about Apple's iTunes and how they wield their power to promote. The classic promotion model in media is to offer co-operative advertising to retail outlets in exchange for favorable placement in store displays or through featuring product in advertising the retailer is doing. Examples of this range from the placement of a book in the front of a Barnes & Noble to a image from Lords of The Rings on all the televisions in the Best Buy Sunday ad to books featured on inBubbleWrap.
iTunes does it differently. They will not accept any money for promotional placement on their front page. A legion of editors act as the first filter about what should be promoted. They have asked labels to lower album prices in exchange for their premium space. Rhino did this on a set of Prince albums to coincide with the artist's Super Bowl appearance. iTunes has also asks for exclusive content from artists. If you spend any time on the site, you see featuring iTunes only content all the time. In all these cases, no money is exchanging hands.