Apple has told music labels that they can either accept the new 90 second “clips” in the iTunes Store, or they can leave. It’s that simple. While songs under 2 minute will continue to only have 30 second previews, anything that runs longer will see the previews run 3 times longer.
The preview extension was expected to be rolled out earlier this year, but legal and licensing issues seem to have held up the changes, which brings us to the next point.
Apple has also hired major label legal talent for iTunes. Elliot Peters, previously the head of digital legal affairs at Warner Music Group, is now part of the iTunes team. In a memo released by Warner Music Group, Paul Robinson says, “Elliott has had a hand in almost every major WMG digital deal.”
We’re not sure if these two items are related, but we can expect Elliott to play a major role in future Apple negotiations with music labels. Officially, Elliot Peters will be Apple’s corporate attorney director for iTunes Europe and Internet services.