Apple’s iTunes free “Single of the Week” exposes users to new music

What do Jem, The Kaiser Chiefs, Tyler Hilton and Tegan and Sara have in common? All of these artists have had songs featured in the iTunes Music Store as a “Single of the Week.” Every iTunes-dubbed “New Music Tuesday,” a new single is available for any iTunes user to download. The best part? Every “Single of the Week” is a free, legal download for all your listening and CD-burning pleasure, no strings attached.

Most convenient about the “Single of the Week” is its hassle-free delivery in the “New Music Tuesday” email newsletter that Apple sends every complying iTunes user. Granted, iTunes users must remember to download the single by the next Tuesday or lose the chance to download the song, but with a reminder like the newsletter, there’s no excuse not to score a free song per week.

With a click from the email newsletter, the iTunes Music Store launches and directs to the new single’s page. Along with the album artwork, iTunes provides a brief introduction about the band, often including some band history and a description of the type of music featured. The download page is also accessible from the Music Store main page. A linked list to additional free downloads offered that week are also in the lower right corner of the main page.

The “Single of the Week” supports a symbiotic relationship between both the artist and the consumer, as seen by the rise of many featured artists. Take Anna Nalick, for example. Her song, “Breathe (2 AM),” a free music download last November, was ubiquitous on airwaves this summer. This week’s free download, “Get Stoned,” by Hinder, allows the band to promote imminent album release later this month, as well as get easy publicity for their lead single. Not to mention, those who download get an insider’s look at new artists across a wide spread of genres.

The “Single of the Week” is just another reason for those puttering around with Windows Media Player or Musicmatch Jukebox to make the switch to arguably the best hybrid audio manager and online music store. Sure, not all “Singles of the Week” will please, but what are two seconds of clicking “Delete” compared to the endless enjoyment of other truly valuable songs? Better question: why aren’t you downloading already?

Hannah Bae can be contacted at