The Financial Times reports that Apple is joining forces with the four largest record labels to create a new digital format designed to stimulate album sales:
Apple is working with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group, on a project the company has codenamed “Cocktail”, according to four people familiar with the situation. The labels and Apple are working towards a September launch date for the project, which aims to boost interest in albums by bundling liner notes and video clips with the music.
Appl's goal is to make album purchases more compelling, by offering interactive album material, such as photos, lyric sheets and "liner notes". Users would be able to play songs directly from the interactive book, wthout going back into iTunes.
While digital sales are growing fast, album sales aren't following. According to Neilsen SoundScan, album sales in the US fell 14 percent in 2008 in the US.
The new digital music format may be connected with a new tablet-style Apple computing device, but Apple is so tight-lipped that we won't know for sure until an official announcement is made.
What do you think about the idea of a new digital album format? Would it make you more likely to buy full digital albums in the future?
The first one he plays is actually rather lovely....
Marcel runs us through the features of the new interface