Download in a Box? Apple to Sell Album-Specific iTunes Giftcards in Stores

August 27, 2007 1:38 PM ET

Not content to just dominate music sales online, Apple will soon be taking up space in your local retail chain. According to Billboard, this fall, the company will begin selling album-specific iTunes gift cards inside DVD-sized boxes with album art on the cover in stores like Best Buy, Starbucks and Safeway. Albums by Norah Jones and Maroon 5 may be among the first offered, at prices said to range from $11.99 to $14.99 -- which may include bonus tracks or videos since the price is a bit higher than iTunes' ususal $9.99 per album fee. The cards could help boost sales over the holidays and introduce heartland shoppers to downloading, but may accelerate the decline of physical CD sales and hurt brick-and-mortar sales in the long run. But for the first time in a while, consumers will be able to grab something physical -- an album cover, at least -- along with their download.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »