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Apple explores new music options – iTunes Pass

It gets hardcore fans everything a band releases over a certain time, in exchange for a lump sum.

This is what I like to see – innovative new ways of selling music that encourages people to actually spend money on bands they love. Venturebeat reports that Apple is experimenting with something called iTunes Pass, which allows fans to buy a pass for a certain group or artist and then get everything that artist releases for a given time period.

Apple’s piloting it with Depeche Mode. You can buy a pass for $19 and you’ll get the band’s new single right now, the album when it comes out, and some other exclusive tracks too. You’ll also get any videos and artwork that the band puts out before June 16th, which is when the pass expires.

All the content you get is DRM-free, though it will show up in Apple’s AAC format. Apple also guarantees that the value of the pass won’t exceed the value of the individual items, so you’re getting a good deal however you look at it.

For my favourite bands, I’d definitely sign up for this. For stuff I’m less excited about, I wouldn’t, but that’s not really the point of the scheme. It’s about making fans feel special, giving bands a greater connection to those people, and maybe actually making some money off music again. Good work, Apple.