iTunes to extend length of free song samples

iTunes will soon be extending the length of song samples from 30 seconds to 90 seconds for songs that are at least two-and-a-half minutes in length.

An Apple spokesman confirmed for CNET this evening a report by Symphonic Distribution, a digital music distributor, that iTunes would soon be extending the length of song samples from 30 seconds to 90 seconds for songs that are at least two-and-a-half minutes in length. Shorter songs would continue to offer the 30-second sample.

The samples are, of course, the snippets of music that Apple offers to iTunes users so they can determine whether they want a song or not. CNET was first to report on August 30 that Apple planned to increase the length of samples and would roll it out during the company's press event in San Francisco on September 1.

The day after that report appeared, however, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) informed Apple that it had not negotiated for the proper licenses with music publishers and didn't have the right to offer longer samples. The longer samples were shelved temporarily. Since then, Apple has spoken with various groups, including the Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), one of the performing-rights organizations that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters

For more on this story, read Apple confirms move to 90-second iTunes samples on CNET News.

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