APPLE IS PLANNING to kill off its iTunes LP format later this month, a leaked email seen by the Metro has confirmed.
iTunes LPs first debuted back in 2009 in a bid to encourage the music industry into the digital age by allowing CDs and albums to be bundled with extra content, such as lyrics and videos.
Apple explains on its website: "iTunes LPs offer endless opportunities to create an interactive, multimedia experience for albums in iTunes. Customers can listen to an album and view lyrics, liner notes, band photos, performance videos, and more. An existing iTunes contract is required for submission. Your iTunes LP will be reviewed by iTunes for quality and appropriate content."
Apple this week sent an email to those in the music business confirming that, as of 1 April, it will no longer be accepting iTunes LP submissions.
"Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPS after March 2018," the email, penned by the Apple Music team said.
"Existing LPs will be deprecated from the store during the remainder of 2018. Customers who have previously purchased an album containing an iTunes LP will still be able to download the additional content using iTunes Match."
The Metro, which received a copy of the email, is wildly speculating that the move to kill iTunes LPs - a format that has been adopted by just 400 albums since it debuted almost 10 years ago - could be a sign that Apple is planning to rid of music downloads completely.
While it points to earlier speculation that Apple could be shifting solely to a subscription model in a bid to push its Spotify-rivalling Appel Music service, the killing off of iTunes LPs is unlikely to have such an impact.
While sales of digital music from the likes of iTunes and Amazon are falling (around 20 per cent in 2017), many people still favour digital ownership over streaming services. What's more, record companies will continue to push for digital downloads, as while it doesn't offer such long-term money-making potential, it's far more lucrative up front. µ
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