As it did last year
in countries outside the US, the iTunes 12 Days of Gifts app
is jumping the gun a little, offering a "preview" gift to get users started with the app. Until this year, the "12 Days of Christmas" app (as it was formerly called) was exclusive to countries that highlight holidays between the actual Christmas event, such as "Boxing Day" in the UK and Commonwealth countries, and the baptism of Christ as celebrated by Orthodox Christians. The first offering is a free single and music video
from New Zealand-based teen performer Lorde.
The 17-year-old, born in Auckland, scored a major hit earlier this year with a song called "Royals," which broke the previous record for longest reign of a female artist in the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 since 1996. The gift available through the app or on the iTunes Store worldwide is a copy of her latest single "No Better,"
and a free copy of the "Royals" music video.
The first "regular" gift from the app is scheduled for Boxing Day, December 26, and will offer a new gift each day until January 6. Gifts will include items from iTunes -- either a song, movie or TV rental, e-book or app -- and the free special is only offered for 24 hours. Currently, the iOS app only acts as a pointer to the free Lorde song, and as a countdown timer for the first "regular" gift.