iTunes Concoting New Strategy To Push Digital Albums Over Singles

Posted by on July 29, 2009

Apple is reportedly discussing a new strategy with the four major labels to boost digital album sales by bundling a new type of interactive booklet, liner notes and other interactive features, hoping to buck the overwhelming trend of iTunes consumers limiting purchases to singles.

EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group are working with Apple on a project codenamed “Cocktail”, according to Financial Times. The project is planned for a September launch.

“It’s all about re-creating the heyday of the album when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork, while you listened to the music,” said one executive familiar with the plans.

Apple wants to make bigger purchases more compelling by creating a new type of interactive album material, including photos, lyric sheets and liner notes that allow users to click through to items that they find most interesting. Consumers would be able to play songs directly from the interactive book without clicking back into Apple’s iTunes software, executives said.

“It’s not just a bunch of PDFs,” said one executive. “There’s real engagement with the ancillary stuff.”

Another day, another silly re-branding of an old idea. At least the executive said “it’s not just a bunch of PDFs,” which is exactly what I was expecting. Alright, Mr. Executive, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. So these will be neat little interactive widgets that go beyond a scan of liner notes. I’ve never seen anything like that done before.

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