From today Bebo users in Ireland and the UK will be able to buy music from the iTunes store directly through the artist’s Bebo profile.
This will be the first time ever that iTunes has joined forces with a social networking site to sell its music and so far is exclusive to Ireland and the UK.
Bebo is officially the most popular site in Ireland, with higher web traffic above Yahoo! and even Google, and claims to have an Irish user base of over one million.
Apple is said to be testing the iTunes/Bebo concept over here first and if successful will possibly be rolled out to Bebo users worldwide, numbering over 31 million.
Irish artists like Brian McFadden and Leanne Harte have already joined in, with an iTunes icon beside each of the songs listed on their profile page.
While iTunes in the past has never sought alternative avenues to market its music, now many companies, especially telcos, are looking to social networking sites such as Bebo and MySpace to gain a greater market share of the 16-24 year old demographic.
These sites are heavily music orientated and represent a large percentage of the music-buying youth sector.
This deal is one of many recent marketing strategies adopted by Bebo to capitalise on its ever-increasing user base.
Apple iTunes is the second music outlet that Bebo has joined with this past year, online music store 7Digital being the first.
By Marie Boran