Installing iTunes Music Store on Windows: A Strategic Marketing Shift by Apple

Installing iTunes Music Store on Windows: A Strategic Marketing Shift by Apple

A decade ago, Apple did something extraordinary. It launched what Steve Jobs called “the best Windows program ever written” – iTunes for Windows.

Since the 1970s, Apple had resisted every attempt to make products that are compatible with its rival’s computers.

“I’m here to report to you today that this has happened,” Jobs said, pointing to a sign that read, “Hell Froze Over.”

For many years Apple tried everything to grow its market share but it just wouldn’t grow. It was simply unable to persuade the mass consumer audience to switch from Windows to Machintosh inspite of all its brilliant advertising of the Mac computers.

It appears brilliant looking back, but it didn’t seem like it at the time. Steve Jobs wanted to keep Apple software and devices only on Macintosh computers and viciously fought off  Jon Rubenstein, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Phil Schiller,  Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing who saw the value of spreading out onto PCs.

In the end that feat of marketing innovation opened up the iPod to the 97% of people who had PCs. It was easy to convert them once they could see how well the software worked with the hardware.

They also learned how easy it was to upgrade. It provided the fulcrum for Apple to launch iPhones as the iPods unwittingly became the guinea pig for the design of the iPhones.

Having tasted the qualities which Apple had to offer, they realized that their lives would be a lot easier if they switched to a Macintosh all together.

The Windows version of iTunes was a real “shift” in strategy, as it ultimately helped  sell more iPods but fewer Macintoshes, because of the compatibility with a PC.

It was a multibillion tsunami in the market. Thanks to a rapidly accelerating sales curve, Apple’s market cap climbed to the most valuable company in the world.

The iTunes jukebox program allows users to store, organize and play back songs in the MP3 or Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) digital formats on their computers. The iTunes Music Store is an online service run by Apple that is accessed through the jukebox program and an Internet connection. 

10 years later Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 25 billion songs from the iTunes Store making it the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store. The 25 billionth song, “Monkey Drums” (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch, was purchased by Phillip Lüpke from Germany. As the downloader of the 25 billionth song, Phillip received a €10,000 iTunes Gift Card. 

It was the best strategic marketing decision a company will ever make.

Simon Page College of Marketing Eshun
[email protected]
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