Coming Soon: iTunes Store Kiosks

By on September 13, 2006

Yesterday Steve Jobs gave us some new goodies to play with and some things to look forward to. With all the attention paid to movies being available on iTunes and the nearly microscopic shuffle I think a very important business opportunity for Apple was overlooked by the blogosphere. iTunes 7 now includes the ability to reverse sync your purchased iTunes content to a Mac (or PC) other than the one you purchased it on. While the description of this feature extolls the ability to now take your iPod to work and move your songs to your work PC I see something far greater.

Soon we’ll be able to add songs to our iPods via iTunes Store kiosks in shopping malls and airports. We’ll probably see them first in Apple Stores, but if they do well there they’ll probably pop up everywhere. The only way I see this working however is if Apple caches a set amount of content in each kiosk. Caching the content will be significant because currently the slowest part of any online media purchase is the download. If they preload the 50,000 most popular downloads including music, audiobooks and movies users will now be able to buy content remotely and sync it to their PCs when they return home.

If this happens, once again Apple has figured out a way to extract cash from my wallet.



  1. I think you’re on to something here. Providing movies on demand is all good and fine, but when you consider that the file size for a full length movie is a couple of gigabytes, it’d still take a day or two to download with my meager DSL connection. Add to that the fact that the download doesn’t include any of the extra content you get on a DVD, I’d opt first for buying a ready-to-go DVD — unless there was a faster way to get that puppy loaded onto my computer.

    Making iTunes Kiosks as ubiquitous as ATM machines would be the way to make that happen, unless something happens soon to drastically drive down the cost of a higher-than-average speed connection.

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