Apple is making a change to their 30-second long iTunes song previews. In fact, they’re making it 3 times longer.
Coming soon, for all songs longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds (the vast majority of songs), customers will now get to preview a 90 second clip of the song. Now, in the confusing world of free- and try-vertising, this likely will lead to more sales for Apple. Not just because of the obvious, “Why else would Apple do it?” question. Because this does bring up something that music fans have wanted Apple to do for a long time.
Create a Pandora-ish music streaming service. They have the library. They have the partnerships. And by moving to a 90-second preview, they’re almost there anyway. But, how do the music labels feel about this first step? Well, they probably feel like they’re being strongheld a bit. Because Apple sent a letter to the labels that pretty much said, “if you don’t like it, you don’t have to list your music with us anymore.” And Apple must feel safe that the labels will err on the side of “liking” it.