Published Mar 10, 2010It might be a touch too soon to call Apple's iTunes LP a bust, but according to early reports, a half-year into its release, things may not be taking off as well as expected.
The iTunes LP, launched in September of 2009, was seen as a way to bolster digital album sales via more files, including lyrics, videos and other media. The offering of increased material is intended to add value to potential buyers, thereby justifying a higher cost.
However, each digital LP is expensive to create (the report quotes developer costs upwards of $60,000 U.S. per title), while overall sales have yet to balance out. In short, iTunes LPs are still in the red and purchases continue to be sluggish.
As Billboard reports, the man responsible for the research, GigaOm's Paul Bonanos, states,
"Six months later, iTunes LP doesn't prompt much consumer recognition and none of the industry sources with whom I spoke said they viewed it as being anywhere close to game-changing from a format perspective. Rather, it's considered more of a curiosity. Like an enhanced CD or a DVD packaged with a physical album, iTunes LP's bonus materials may interest super-fans, but they aren't generating much buzz among mainstream consumers, and don't appear to be stimulating LP sales at all. 'It's something most people will look at once,' is how one person put it."
Before we begin carving out the epitaph, however, Bonanos adds that a deeper catalogue with some essential titles is necessary to boost profile and truly garner consumer opinion on its value compared to pricing.