Apple’s relatively new iTunes LP digital album format wasn’t originally proposed by the company, and has yet to significantly boost album sales, according to a new report. Citing anonymous industry sources, GigaOM reports that the format was in fact a result of the same negotiations between Apple and the major music labels that led to DRM-free songs and flexible pricing on the iTunes Store; a “concession” from Apple to make a gesture in favor of album sales as customers increasingly show interest in digital singles. According to the report, Apple subsidized the initial lineup of iTunes LP offerings, spending as much as $60,000 a piece to have the necessary media created by a third-party developer. The new format has failed to have any major impact on record sales, the report states, although there are less than 50 albums available in the format on the iTunes Store. One person involved in a prior iTunes LP project said “if it costs $50,000 or $60,000, we’re not going to do it again,” adding that Apple’s extra promotion of the album in conjunction with iTunes LP did help sales. Apple introduced the iTunes LP format in September 2009 alongside a new version of iTunes and a revamped interface for the iTunes Store.
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