Wednesday, March 10, 2010

iTunes LP: Unloved child

GigaOM takes some time out to run a hey, anyone remember the iTunes LP format? piece, pointing out that it's quietly sitting in the corner, unused:

Only 29 LPs are currently for sale in the iTunes store, about a dozen of which were available when the format was launched. Several are catalog albums, meaning that only a couple of new releases each month appear as iTunes LPs. The same person who participated in an iTunes LP project said, “If it costs $50,000 or $60,000, we’re not going to do it again,” although at the same time, acknowledged that Apple’s extra promotion of the release in conjunction with iTunes LP helped it become a moneymaker after all.

And - as everyone guessed at the time - the report suggests that Apple couldn't have cared less about creating iTunes LP; indeed, it was an unwanted child only conceived to try and save a marriage:
I’m told by an industry source who preferred to remain anonymous that iTunes LP wasn’t Apple’s idea in the first place. Rather, it’s the result of the same renegotiations between Apple and the major record labels that yielded DRM-free songs and flexible pricing early last year, a concession by Cupertino to make a gesture in favor of album sales as consumers increasingly show a preference for digital singles.

The lesson, which will be ignored by a music industry desperate to not hear it, is that people aren't interested in paying money for songs they don't want, and certainly don't want to pay more for songs they don't want, however beautifully


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