Apple introduces "iTunes Pass" subscription service

Apple recently introduced the "iTunes Pass" subscription service

Earlier today, Apple unveiled a new service for iTunes users called "iTunes Pass", which is essentially a subscription based service that covers any and all kinds of media content from a specific artist. With iTunes Pass, users pay a pre-determined fee, and in exchange, they get unfettered access to a particular artists music, videos, remixes, and potentially any other kind of content that can be transmitted digitally.

As of now, the only artist signed up for iTunes Pass is Depeche Mode, and interested fans of the 80's band can opt to pay $19 up front in order to download anything they release over the next few months.  Wisely, Apple has promised that the upfront fees will never surpass the cumulative cost of the content had it been downloaded separately.  Depeche Mode's upcoming album contains 15 tracks, so it will be interesting to see what other goodies will become available for download in order to make up the 4 dollar difference.

All in all, this initiative seems to be a smart move by Apple.  While the service obviously isn't for everyone, if Apple is able to get a large and diverse grouping of artists on board, it seems like the perfect way to satiate the appetite of those music fans who just can't get enough of their favorite artists.  Also, this type of bundling is exactly what the record labels have been fighting for, so they're probably happy with Apple's new initiative as well.

If Apple eventually adds some real goodies for Depeche Mode fans (i.e exclusive interviews, pictures, songs), and subsequently adds an impressive list of other artists, iTunes Pass may soon prove to be a boon for music fans, Apple, and the record labels all at once - an un-fathomable notion even 3 months ago.

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