iTunes Will Soon Have 90-Second Previews in the US
Rumors have circulated for some time that Apple will increase the length of music previews. In a letter sent to music label representatives, Apple has stated that they will now increase song previews to 90-seconds for songs longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Shorter songs will still have 30-second previews. No time frame has been given yet, but the fact that Apple is informing label representatives indicates that the change may be sooner rather than later.
Apple has a history of playing hardball with the record labels, and they are doing it again. Apple did not ask the record labels if they could change the terms of the Digital Music Download Sales Agreement, they just informed the labels in the letter.
The extended previews feature, expected to be announced at the annual Apple event in September, failed to materialize. One possible explanation for the delay is that Apple may not have had all of the necessary licensing agreements in place in time for the event. It would seem that Apple now has everything squared away and will soon increase song previews to 90-seconds. This may be a minor upgrade, but it is a welcomed one.