Always On My Mind...

That's what I'm listening to as I write this. Not Willie Nelson's version (he wrote the song), but Pet Shop Boys' version, circa 1988 (the album was Introspective). It's a great cover with a snazzy dance rhythm, more subdued than the Ecstasy-imbued speedy syncopations of a post-"MTV Grinds" musical genre.

I'm listening to it through my laptop, onto which I have recently downloaded Apple's iTunes 4 software. My business partner, Eric, turned me onto it early last week. I realize it's been around for a while, but like many millions of other audiophiles who use their computers as alternatives to a home stereo system, or as adjunctive, for the purposes of ripping, resorting, and rerecording music, I was satisfied using what was already available... what I mean to say is... that I...

Oh, all right. What I'm really saying is, like many millions of other audiophiles who know how to use their computers, I was satisfied downloading music for free over the Internet and listening to the files I'd swiped, in no particular order.



But, well, let's face it. The efforts of the RIAA have made file-swapping a more difficult proposition than it once was. Now, back in the early days of the original Napster, I was a huge proponent of the technology. Still am, really. For a long while I didn't buy CDs. Well, unless it was something good, like a new Ani Difranco album.

But then I downloaded iTunes. The simple and kindly interface that make fanatics out of the Apple faithful lured me in beyond just facilitating the playing of existing music files and took me right to the iTunes Music store. Buying and downloading single tracks is made just as easy as one would expect from software designed by Apple. An easy search makes finding the music you are looking for quick, and if you don't find it, you know it isn't there, so you aren't left wondering if maybe a misspelling of the song or the artist will help. And the download is only seconds long. In the last 7 days, I've spent as much as I would have on one CD to buy singles that had become too much of a bother to find and download for free. Now, that may not be much, but it is money that NO ONE was getting before I downloaded iTunes. I tell you this now, my friends: iTunes is freakin' awesome.

What puzzles me, however, is why I don't see any advertising online for this amazing device/product/store... whatever. I mean, talk about being a medium that is guaranteed to reach an audience capable of using your product. But I've not seen anything anywhere.

iTunes is guaranteed to reach an audience of persons comfortable with making online transactions and downloading music online by advertising... online.

I can appreciate the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing that resulted in me becoming an avid fan and advocating use of the product to others. But I suspect that for a small investment, Apple could see their iTunes user base increase by significant numbers. Maybe they are worried about too much usage overextending the system? Perhaps they are waiting for a big push to come at some time later? Or could it be that, like so many other advertisers, Apple is still wowed by television and they simply cannot resist the allure of spending a bunch of money against it. After all, something sexy and cool like Apple has to do something that makes them look sexy and cool. Evidently, that isn't the web.

Now, Napster has recently pulled a Lazarus and has come back to the market place as a product much like iTunes. It facilitates an existing sound-file library and gives you the option of buying single tracks for $.99. Now, Napster has done some online advertising for their recent launch last week, but from what I've been able to find, so far their online activity looks to be extensions of offline media schedules, running on the web properties of cable networks and their partners. I'm told we will see more exciting things from them in the future.

But I wonder again out loud; why are we not seeing more online advertising from companies for whom the Internet is a necessary medium for their business to even exist?

Funny that I've got traditional general market advertisers as clients using online vigorously, yet companies that depend on the Internet for their existence can't seem to be bothered advertising online.

I'm curious to know if anyone out there has similar musing and whether or not y'all might have some answers.

Next story loading loading..