iTunes LP was Record Labels' Idea?
GigaOm is reporting that, contrary to speculation that Steve Jobs wanted to return us to a more analog time when we bought new albums and sank back for ours drinking in every liner note and detail, iTunes LP was actually the record labels' idea:
I’m told by an industry source who preferred to remain anonymous that iTunes LP wasn’t Apple’s idea in the first place. Rather, it’s the result of the same renegotiations between Apple and the major record labels that yielded DRM-free songs and flexible pricing early last year, a concession by Cupertino to make a gesture in favor of album sales as consumers increasingly show a preference for digital singles.
It's further said that Apple subsidized the first batch of iTunes LPs, whose production costs were an unbelievable $60,000. The more recent release of developer tools is seen as reducing that cost, and rumors persist of an iDVD-like replacement application from Apple that would work to make iTunes LP and iTunes Extra.
Either way, enthusiasm among artists and Apple itself seems to be low, though just over double the amount of iTunes LPs are available now than were at launch. GigaOm suggests artists are also interested in the App Store as a way to provide extra content to consumers, which might split focus for iTunes LP.
In terms of pushing the format forward, it's now supported by Apple TV (stuttering though it may be), but there's been no sign of support for the 75 million iPhone and iPod touch devices on the market. It will be supported by the iPad, however, though Apple hasn't been pushing iTunes LP as a selling point so far.
Have you bought an iTunes LP? Are you interested in the format going forward?