When then named synchronization manager SoundJam MP was purchased by Apple in 2001, and later renamed to the more commonly known iTunes – it made a whole lot of sense, especially when you consider that the company was just months away from the introduction of iPod.
Nowadays, while it is clear that Apple still manages to retain some of its signature hype around the iTunes brand – in terms of its own marketing, the actual use of ‘iTunes’ as a product name makes little sense.
This is largely due to the synchronization software having since evolved to become not only a complete digital media hub – but a storefront for the purchase of all kinds of different media, not just that of music.
In a further signal that the company may be looking to slowly phase out the iTunes brand, Apple this week officially announced that iTunes Podcasts -a format which has been staple of the software since its first introduction 16 years ago- would from here on out be known as Apple Podcasts.
The move rings similar to Apple’s dropping of the ‘i’ in the name of its latest flagship product, Apple Watch, as the firm appears set on phasing out the Jobs era and its synonymity with the letter ‘i’ – in place of a new beginning.
One focused on ridding the once potential ambiguity surrounding its products, in favour for making sure consumers know who exactly those products and services are provided by – and, as a byproduct, growing in both social and physical status.
After all, the Apple brand has always been centered on status — and it appears Cook is ready to double-down on that notion.
Of course, it would make little sense for the iPhone (or iPad) to lose the use of Apple’s globally recognised ‘i’ at this point. The iPhone in particular is much too important to the company in terms of the percentage of revenue it currently accounts for, to make this change … and changing something that works well is rarely a good idea.
But iTunes is different.
As the software continue to evolve and Apple looks to move into original content that will be streamed to Apple Music’s growing membership, so too does the need for a rebrand become more clear.
One that clearly communicates what iTunes is about right now, in 2017, and what it is likely to be about in 10 years time. That is, more than music.
I believe the phase out will be gradual. But I believe we will see more of this kind of rebrand from Apple going forward – as the company works to consolidate its brand image post Jobs.
“Apple Podcasts is the best place to discover audio stories that entertain, inform, and inspire,” Apple said in its announcement. “Millions of people worldwide listen every day and are looking for their next favorite show.”
Citing that the move introduces ‘clear and effective’ marketing to its iTunes-driven podcast initiative, as it explains that the change will also help podcast owners “reach an even bigger audience,” just as with its official badge artwork for the iOS App Store, Mac App Store and iBooks Store, the firm is this week also providing a set of identity guidelines for how its new ‘Apple Podcasts’ badge should be used in both print and online media.
“Don’t display both the badge and icon together and do not use the Apple Podcasts icon instead of the Apple Podcasts badge in marketing communications, even when layout space is limited,” the company notes.
“Use the Apple Podcasts icon only when displaying an array of icons with similar shape and size,” it adds.
You can download the Apple Podcasts badge to begin using it in your own online (or offline) communications, as well as learn more about the rebrand of Apple’s oldest audio/video service format, by heading over here.