Abandoning the format may be a precursor to shuttering iTunes itself, some experts believe.
(CCM) — The writing may be on the wall for iTunes and digital downloads following Apple's decision to stop selling iTunes LPs, according to a Metro report.
iTunes LPs were designed to encourage customers to buy complete albums by an artist rather than just a few tracks by bundling bonus tracks, sleeve notes, video documentaries, and other incentives.
But the publication has seen an email from "The Apple Music Team" which says that the company plans to abandon iTunes LPs this year. "Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPs after March 2018," the email 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 report says the news of the imminent demise of the LP format "chimes with rumours that Apple is intending to stop selling music downloads and shift to a subscription model." In effect that would mean the end of iTunes as a music store, and the move might also provide a boost for the Apple Music streaming service.
"The announcement is big and small," Mark Mulligan, an analyst at MIDiA Research, said in the report. "It's small because LPs aren't a big thing, but big in that it tells us where the market is going."
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