Apple is deleting the iTunes LP format. The news was shared with labels and distributors two weeks ago; and now an email to iTunes' music partners has surfaced that states clearly, "Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPS after March 2018."
Apple is killing the iTunes LP format, and some are seeing this as the rumored beginning of the end for paid downloads on iTunes. But the iTunes LP format, which includes lyrics, photo, liner notes and more, never really caught on.
Here's how Apple described the format:
"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."
Fewer than 500 albums were ever released using the format. Apple also never really promoted iTunes LPs or bothered to optimize the format for mobile use on the iPhone, iPad or elsewhere.
Now, "Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPS after March 2018," according to an email to partners first published by Metro: "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 Beginning Of The End Of iTunes Music Downloads?
Some have taken this as a sign that this marks the beginning of the end of download sales on iTunes. But the deletion of a format that almost no one - labels or consumers - took advantage is hardly a strong indicator of future plans.
That does not mean that Apple is looking for ways to push consumers onto its Apple Music streaming service, as well as, eyeing the precipitous decline in download sales. Several indies told Hypebot earlier this year that they had been warned by Apple that the end of iTunes download sales would come, perhaps as early as 2019.