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iTunes' Hefty Fee Locks Out Indie Label LPs

When Apple announced its multimedia album packages, dubbed iTunes LPs, some hailed it as the return of the album-as-object. But some indie labels who've tried to create their own LPs on iTunes are dismayed over the $10,000 production fee that Apple charges for LPs.

iTunes LP

Not only is the cost prohibitive, but Apple is also being choosy about who it offers the LP format to, reports TUAW. Out of misguided loyalty to the big labels, Apple isn't offering LPs to indie labels who can front the money, either. Outraged, Cult of Mac's Pete Mortensen calls it less a new format for music than for paid advertising.

Stifled in the iTunes Music Store, on-the-cheap labels may instead choose to go to the App Store and release an iPhone-only selection of artwork and liner notes.

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  • Jesse Poe

    As an indie musician and ex- employee myself, I have to say that I am not surprised.

    And I'm not surprised that even though Microsoft just fell into the same hole ( that Apple didn't side step it.

    The first rule of the new era of business regarding B2C is if you block them, they'll just make their own and you'll be left out so might as well let them in.

    Apple has hedged out indie musicians for a chump profit (by Apple's margins) and now just within a few days. A crack is out to make your iTunesLP and within the Month, be assured folks will be posting their own iTunesLP and Apple will get none of that revenue.

    Typical Apple, no..... typical big business model of a failed era.

  • Richard Geller

    Well if Apple wants a way to make iTunes less relevant long-term, this is an absolutely excellent way to move in that direction, because it will open the doors for other distribution sites to figure out how to do a much better job of promoting and distributing the indie-artists and labels and to draw the segment of the music audience that's interested what's next, what's new and what's not old-school corporate.
    Richard Geller