Apple Computer is said to be in negotiations with the music industry over plans to start selling a much larger array of music videos through the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The company has been offering a small number of music videos on iTMS since early May, but the business daily reported that more widespread sales of such videos could be around the corner.
"Apple has approached the four major music companies, Warner Music Group Corp., EMI Group PLC, Vivendi Universal SA's Universal Music Group and Sony BMG, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann AG, to license music videos for sale through iTunes, according to people in the media industry," WSJ reported. "The videos, which could go on sale as early as September, would likely be sold for $1.99 each, with the possibility of a discount if consumers buy a music video and a song at the same time, these people said."
"I believe it's inevitable," Richard Doherty, an analyst with the Envisioneering Group, a research and consulting firm, said of a video iPod to WSJ.
As usual, an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on "rumors and speculation" about the company's plans.
The larger selling of music videos on iTMS could be a prelude to a video-ready iPod or the sale of feature films, some industry experts have speculated. Apple recently licensed a chip from a subsidiary of Broadcom Corp. that could be used to display video on portable devices, though it can also be used to power more sophisticated graphics, a person familiar with the matter said. Apple has also approached some media companies with television-production arms about licensing shows, one media executive told The Journal