Music labels are teaming with Apple Inc. on a hush-hush new project. A source leaked information about the new project, code name “Cocktail,” on Monday. Project “Cocktail” is a plan to make enhanced albums that will work with a new tablet PC from Apple. Instead of the normal multi-track albums consumers are used to, they will introduce software that packages songs, album liners, music videos, interviews and other interactive forms of media together.
Labels such as EMI Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group all originally planned to reveal the new format this November but they teamed with up Apple for a version that will debut this fall with their new tablet PC. Apple declined to comment on the validity of the information, saying that it will not respond to rumors or speculation. The Financial Times originally reported the story but a source confirmed it Monday.
The new partnership between labels and Apple is ironic considering that Apple's 2003 introduction of ITunes put a stiff dent in album sales. According to Apple's research and lack of album sales, consumers would much rather pay 99 cents for a song than $10 for a whole album. Labels first reached out to the conglomerate in 2007 about the new enhanced album format but did not form an agreement therefore leading Apple and the labels to work separately on the project. Now through their collaboration, labels are hoping to resurrect album sales.
Unfortunately for consumers, a substantial rise in price is inevitable. Apple is confident however that fans will pay more for a higher quality product. According to the source, the Apple tablet PC and enhanced album format will debut in September.