Apple Reportedly Killing Off iTunes LP Format Later This Year

Posted March 10, 2018

The memo states that new iTunes LP products won't be accepted as of April 2018, and existing offerings will be phased out by the end of the year. A story in Metro erroneously linked the end of iTunes LPs with the end of iTunes itself.

An attempt to download a previously purchased iTunes LP through the iTunes Store today yielded only audio tracks, minus the iTunes LP multimedia content.

The decision to no longer offer new iTunes LP content is not surprising in light of the decline of music sales industry-wide and the rise of streaming services like Apple Music.

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For whatever reason, though, the industry didn't embrace the technology and only about 400 albums have ever been released as iTunes LPs.

Apple will be discontinuing its multimedia album format iTunes LP starting at the end of this month, according to a report from Metro this morning. Labels could take advantage of the format by included things like liner notes, graphics, photos and links to video for albums encoded that way. This format is also used to bundle extra content (known as iTunes Extras) with selected movies at the iTunes Store.

Some leaked memos purport to indicate that Apple is killing off iTunes LPs later this month.

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iTunes LPs have never been a large part of Apple's music business, but if you are a fan, any iTunes LPs you have purchased aren't going anywhere. While it certainly makes some sense for Apple to put all its eggs in the Apple Music basket, there's nothing in the letter to suggest that Apple will stop selling music, either by track or by album.

Mark Mulligan, an analyst at MIDiA Research and music industry blogger, told Metro that the announcement was "potential evidence" of Apple's future plans.

Meanwhile, Apple Music is going from strength to strength, with The Wall Street Journal predicting its tally of paying subscribers will overtake Spotify in the USA this summer.

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