Apple and the four major record labels are hoping people will start buying more full-length digital albums, as opposed to individual songs, at least that appears to be the incentive behind their new plan, code-named "Cocktail." (Clearly, this is serious stuff.)
Cocktail will reportedly find the companies working together to bundle interactive booklets, liner notes, videos and other undisclosed interactive features with full album downloads in the hopes of enticing people to download full albums on iTunes.
According to the Financial Times, this plan comes at the same time Apple is hurrying to complete a full-featured, tablet-sized portable computer for Christmas.
Physical album sales have fallen but digital sales are relatively healthy; the problem lies in that people are simply downloading individual tracks, not entire albums, according to some industry experts. This is a problem for the music industry, as there's a higher profit margin in the sale of an album. Combine Apple's two schemes and it looks like they're hoping that by year's end more people will be downloading full albums and enjoying them on their new tablet-sized computer.
And while tapping into the higher profit margin is, of course, top priority for many players in the industry, there's also nostalgia at work: one industry insider told the Financial Times that it's "all about recreating the heyday of the album, when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork while you listened to the music."