In an attempt to boost digital sales of full albums, Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI are to join forces behind the CMX album format that will give audiophiles the added extras they might usually get with a physical sale, such as sleeve notes, lyrics, artwork, and even additional content like videos.
Apparently the big four had also approached Apple around 18 months ago to get it on board with CMX, but Jobs and co. opted out, only to announce its own version – Cocktail – which it plans to launch by October.
A record label insider told The Times: "Apple at first told us that they were not interested, but now they have decided to do their own, in case ours catches on.
The insider went on to describe the process: "Ours will be a file that you click on, it opens and it would have a totally brand-new look, with a launch page and all the different options. When you click on it you’re not just going to get the ten tracks, you’re going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products".
While digital single sales are thriving, albums are not doing so well – music fans are often just choosing the tracks they like rather than paying for the full shebang. It is hoped this venture will help change this behaviour.
The CMX format is set to be available from November, but will see a "soft launch" starting off with a few albums to first gauge public reaction. Will it work better than simply slashing the prices of albums online? Let us know what you think below.