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Universal, EMI look at publishing more albums as apps

updated 09:45 am EDT, Wed March 30, 2011

iTunes LP format failing to catch on, say execs

Universal, EMI, and other entities in the music industry are looking at distributing more albums as iPad apps, according to the New York Times. Universal has already partnered with a company called Eagle Rock Entertainment to do iPad versions of movies about famous albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind, with added social networking; EMI recently published a $10 iPad version of Until One, a new album by the Swedish House Mafia. The app includes photos, documentary videos, and written comments by the band. Icelandic artist Bjork has announced that a project called Biophilia will involve "music, apps, Internet, installations and live shows."

For their publishers, apps serve as a method of persuading people to spend on a full album rather than individual tracks. A complaint of record labels has been that because services like iTunes allow people to buy the standout tracks on an album while ignoring everything else, the industry has lost out on a traditional source of revenue. iPad apps, though, do not allow people to extract music for playback elsewhere.

A move towards apps may reflect disappointment with the iTunes LP format. Both offer extras such as art, lyrics and video, but music executives reportedly say that iTunes LP has failed to gain much traction. The technology is comparatively limited; while the music itself can be played anywhere, the extras are only accessible on a computer with iTunes or an Apple TV.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPad support for iTunes LP!

    Please bring it Apple! The last few things I buy at the iTunes Music Store are the very few iTunes LPs that have good content and iTunes exclusives like their live SXSW coverage or Soho store shows. Otherwise, Amazon is usually a few bucks cheaper nowadays.

    The few iTunes LPs I've bought have actually been pretty good and they're nothing the iPad couldn't handle.

    I'd hate for dedicated apps to get popular for the simple fact that you can't use the music outside of the app. Plus the few I've seen have rarely been more than downloaded videos from the band's website or even just special links to their website. iTunes LPs have been better in that regard!

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good idea...

    There are already some bio vids on iTunes for famous albums (eg - Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon") in which the band gives info on the making of the album and the songs.

    It would be excellent to blend that in with the iTunes LP format currently out there, even as a "deluxe" option. Which I guess is what this article is stating...bring it on!


  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just what we need!

    Content which follows different DRM rules than regular iTunes music, can't be easily transferred to other media, and doesn't show up in the iTunes playlist! Great!

  1. ethical_paul

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Copy me, Universal EMI

    You are right, Vicar, that would be bad. But in the album/book/app that I made, you can download the songs lossless from the artist's web site with a code from the app.

    Check it out:

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I go to the store looking for CD's priced at $10.00 or less. I refuse to pay more for music.

    Problem 1) can't find many CD's, at all. The selection is c***
    Problem 2) most of what they do have is priced between 15.00 and 20.00
    Problem 3) the very few that are 10.00 or less I already own or suck badly.

    Music industry is killing itself.

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