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Apple may credit iTunes album purchases

updated 06:15 pm EDT, Mon March 26, 2007

iTunes album credit

Apple, in conjunction with several music labels, is planning to offer iTunes users credit for songs already purchased when they choose to buy an associated album within a certain time frame, according to the New York Times. Apple's current policy essentially makes customers pay twice for songs purchased individually and then as part of an entire album. The move is likely part of a larger strategy to salvage diminishing sales of entire albums, which is a direct result of consumers' ability to purchase only those individual tracks of interest, rather than an entire album to obtain the one or two songs they frequently want. "I think the album is going to die," said Radar Research managing partner Aram Sinnreich. "Consumers are listening to playlists," he said, referring to mixes of individual tracks. "Consumers who have had iPods since they were in the single digits are going to increasingly gravitate toward artists who embrace that."

by MacNN Staff



  1. FavFruit

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Albums Die?

    Only c*** albums will die. I think the same rhetoric was abundant when the 7 inch single came out....jeez, these they'll be saying Apple will be dead in a year....oh, hang on.

  1. Hobeaux

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Partial Albums

    I am too old-school to give up on album purchases, but I refuse to buy a "partial" album. I buy on iTunes because it keeps my lazy butt on the couch, but if i'm not going to get the full experience then I'm not buying.

    options to incent an album purchase: 1. discount per song for a full-album purchase 2. make the whole album 'one long track' that can't be separated. better for a 'work' but very unfriendly for most genre's. otherwise, make the entire album an album-only selection -- again, unfriendly user experience and can get lots of people barking mad 3. additional content such as album art, videos, interviews, lyrics, concert calendars, concert tickets...

  1. nativeNYer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    album purchases

    The general rule I use with albums purchases on iTunes is, if I like approx. 70% of the tracks on an album, then I go for the whole thing, rather than individual tracks. I figure the 2-4 tracks I wouldn't normally get will fill in the experience for me. If I like less than that, then I go with indie tracks.

    Now, whatever the reason behind this potential change, I welcome it, because there have been a few cases where I regret not getting the full album, but I'm not about to pay for the tracks I already bought twice. I always suspected there was no technical reason this couldn't be done. I'm sure iTS keeps track of all your purchases, so it should be intelligent enough to figure out that you already bought some of the tracks from an album and just discount you those when getting the full deal.

    Let's hope they go through with this, even if I don't use it all that much.

  1. jeph4e

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One hit wonders

    one hit wonders will be one hit wonders.

    The difference is that we can sample the album so if the rest of the tracks suck we'll just take the single.

    If the album matches the quality of the single than it is a done deal. Partial albums... meet Mr. Torrent.

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Albums only work if.....

    Albums only work if they have either of these two ingredients:

    1. The album is a concept or a project, or a collective related work in itself (take Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" or "The Wall"). There are a bunch of these project type albums: Queensryche, Prince, The Beatles, Emerson Lake & Palmer, etc. The individual songs are great, but they relate and complement each other as an album and are greater as a whole.


    2. There are a bunch of "Hits". For example, take Nickleback, Madonna, Guns & Roses, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Eminem, etc. The songs are often unrelated to one another despite their greatness.

    Otherwise, they are mainly 1 hit wonders and the single-sale model is the best for them. This model isn't foreign to the music industry. I remember going to the store and buying 45's. Did 45's erode GOOD album sales?

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