As quietly as Apple apparently killed off its free single-of-the-week iTunes promotion earlier this month, the Cupertino company has rolled out what you might consider to be a replacement.
Called ‘Free on iTunes,’ the new section of its online store does what it says on the tin, offering users a selection of audio and video content for the princely sum of nothing.
It currently shows 16 music tracks (none of them by U2, you may or may not be pleased to know) together with 24 full-length TV episodes, among them Animal Planet documentary Rugged Justice, BBC America’s The Musketeers, and Fox’s Backstrom, which premiered just last week. Click on a listing and it takes you to a download page that includes additional paid-for options, a move Apple hopes will help it to score a bit of extra revenue.
The company quietly stopped offering free weekly music tracks at the start of this year, bringing to an end a feature that started more than 10 years ago. It also brought the curtain down on ’12 Days of Gifts,’ an annual Christmas offering of free apps, music, and other iTunes content. The feature ran internationally for six years, though U.S. based users were only able to snag the freebies during its last outing in Christmas 2013.
With no official announcement from Apple regarding the new ‘Free on iTunes’ section, it’s not clear how often the content will be added to or updated.
Also, the feature is currently only showing on the U.S. iTunes store, so we’re currently in the dark as to whether the company has any plans to roll it out internationally. We’ve reached out to Apple for clarification on both points and will update should we hear back.