updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue July 1, 2008
iTunes Complete My Album
Album sales have depended on single releases to generate interest for years, but thanks to the iTunes Store's Complete My Album feature has bolstered album sales. Musicians are releasing multiple tracks via Complete My Album and realizing full album sales at impressive rates, according to Reuters. Complete My Album allows customers to turn their individual tracks into a complete album at a reduced price by giving them credit for every track they have previously purchased from that album. One recent example was Lil Wayne's hit album "Tha Carter III." Universal Motown made six songs available for download in the months prior to its street date, a full one-third of the 18 tracks included on the final iTunes version of the album.
"For artists that have multiple tracks out, if the album is solid and there's an offer that makes sense to consumers, they will use it," Universal Motown senior VP of digital business development Cameo Carlson says.
Despite the entire album being leaked online just weeks before its availability, "Tha Carter III" still racked up first-week sales of more than 1 million. In addition, 10 percent of the album's sales were digital, up from less than one percent for Wayne's past titles. The most "eyebrow-raising" statistic, the reported noted, was that 52 percent of the album's sales on iTunes came through Complete My Album sales.
Apple introduced the option at the end of March 2007 and since has seen conversion rates of around 10 percent. The strength of Complete My Album is helping to overcome labels fears of cannibalization of album sales, as customers can simply fill in the blanks via the service.