The cover "Across the Universe", which had debuted at the last Grammy Awards, was one of the first customizations of the iTunes Custom Card (illustration at the bottom of the page along with other titles), which made people talk about it with the massive diffusion at the recent Austin SXSW.
Of the song sung live by Bono, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder and colleagues on the Grammy stage were distributed 500 virtual copies to US radio stations, to circulate the voice of the initiative. With this first example, Apple immediately measured the positive feedback level. The song was then distributed by iTunes, making it the most successful digital device during the first week of availability, making its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles at number 22.
At Apple the initiative now considered a stable promotion system and no longer an experiment, so much so that on its website there are all the details to better understand what it is about.
Apple suggests interested parties to send requests to the address (Email protected) (replies assured within three days), but we immediately stop the Italian enthusiasms, this, like many others, an initiative of the very active US iTunes Music Store and therefore currently no other country can use it.
Apple creates the image to be printed on the "scratch and win" card, determines the validity period (usually short), prints them and sends them to event organizers (such as SXSW) who have requested them to promote certain music, giving away copies to download through the iTunes Music Store. The cards are printed with the number of tracks (1, 10, 50, 100, etc.) that can be downloaded with that code without mentioning the amount of the download value.
The cost is determined by Apple based on how many songs / cards they intend to order, in fact in Cupertino they have also launched sales in large volumes of music, obviously at lower prices than the single 99 cents of dollar that are spent per song, discounts which can even reach 20%.
The prospect is to open the initiative to artists, music publishers, managers who want to buy a certain amount of their music and who want to promote it by giving copies via iTunes Custom Cards. Even the corporate gift is within the contemplated possibilities, honoring customers with music to download from the iTunes Music Store. It seems that some universities are already considering the idea to attract undecided students, in addition to the offers already seen with iPod as a gift to freshmen.
Apple indicates in a minimum of 25,000 copies the discounted purchase for commercial entities and 10,000 copies for educational institutions, in order to obtain the discounts described.
Further details will be explained to you by e-mail from Apple, directly to the address (Email protected), after having read the contract (dedicated to the Americans).