Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Will Consumers Drink Up Apple's Cocktail?


Apple is joining forces with the 4 major label groups on a new project codenamed "Cocktail". The idea behind Cocktail is to add features like full album art/booklets and liner notes that have been largely lost in digital music sales. They've been fairly vague about the details, but have hinted that there is more to it than just this. One would assume that if the model worked for the major labels, it could eventually reach out to indie labels and musicians.

I know I personally really miss the experience of listening to an album while I'm looking at the artwork, reading the lyrics and liner notes, but I also know I'm older than the demographic music retailers are generally most concerned with. Most younger music fans I talk to don't seem to care about these things so much. Do you think something like this would make people more likely to buy music? Does it appeal to you at all?

13 comments:

Magniz said...

I still do care about album artwork etc. but if they release digital artwork and other features coming with an album then it's still nothing I can hold in my hands. I don't believe this is going to attract more buyers. And surely not the old-school music aficionados like you and me : )

Felipe Boreli Filho said...

Albuns (LPs and CDs), from music I like, for me are like books.

DedMan said...

It sounds like a small improvement, but not enough to lure me away from physical media. I'm beginning to think that digital-only distribution will never overtake physical media, unless physical media ceases to be an option or becomes very expensive. Last I checked, digital music sales only accounted for 13% of all music sales in the states, and less in Europe. That was about 1yr ago though.

Anonymous said...

I'm in my late 20's and work at one of the best known IT companies in the world. I work with computers all day long and have yet to purchase a single digital music file.

For me a physical music collection is bliss. As I get older my music collection grows old with me. It helps associate the music with that point in time when I purchased the album. When I hold a record, tape, or CD, I remember all that that has passed since the time I bought it, what I was doing, or what was going on in my life at that time.

I also try to buy the album directly from the artist if possible. Either at a show, mail order, or their web site. It seems this is the best way to show my support and interest to the artist.

Regardless of the package or lack thereof, it is the music that I came for. If I ever buy a digital copy, it will be because I have no other choice. Or I get gift card for my birthday.

~W~

dj mad wax said...

I've been getting the urge to go start buying vinyl again actually... I've bought maybe 5 digital albums on iTunes and for whatever wierd reason, I don't enjoy them as much as the physical CDs. guess I'm old school - I mostly listen to european radio dj Mix show rips on the ipod. I also jam to the discs in the changer in the trunk of my ride.

Will C. said...

Getting a high-res PDF of the album art isn't the same as having a physical object, and it doesn't solve the problem that buying music online creates: That you end up with a bunch of ugly, Sharpie-labeled burned disks. Personally, I buy most of my music online lately--vinyl isn't really an option for me, and a lot of the music I listen to isn't available on CD anyway. But I buy digital because I'm willing to forgo having a nice physical object around.

dave romero said...

i'm older too, but i think digital artwork, liner notes, lyrics would be very cool

put it out there and the younger listeners will take to it, i think

alas, i don't buy from itunes, tho i bet it would catch on with others

Wi_ngo said...

People still use physical CDs? Mine have been collecting dust for years.

I like the kind of stuff that Radiohead/NIN/Beastie Boys have been doing... get a nice box package with art, videos, sometimes vinyl, and even t-shirts (in the case of the Beastie Boys remasters), and then also the option for a high-quality digital download. Sometimes these get way pricey, though.

I've been getting a lot of music lately from places like Bleep and Amazon. Nothing beats a quick zip download with high-quality files that's easy to find and pay for. You can get .wav and FLAC from Bleep in most cases now. Personally, the packaging hasn't really done much for me since I was a teenager. Just give me the music!!

mangadrive said...

Including a .jpg file or two with the cover and liner notes isn't quite rocket science. I don't understand why this is such a revolution. It should have happened from the beginning.

fixate said...

^ Or a PDF, no reason not to provide a high res pdf of the liner notes in this day and age. More artists should be doing that.

k said...

Physical things are nice. As long as it's a cool thing that fits in my book shelf. Plastic discs in jewel cases don't really qualify - I'd rather get the music from iTunes. Much more convenient. If Cocktail allows for some kind of an interactive album art / liner notes experience, then that could be cool. I'd certainly do something for my own upcoming release. I absolutely love albums. I listen to albums. I want that specific experience. So, anything that promotes albums of music... I can only support.

keith said...

I guess I'll sit in the minority here but I've started to not care about the liners/notes.

When the switch to digital started to happen, I fought it tooth and nail because I really missed the experience of running out to the store or waiting for that Metropolis shipment to arrive. I've realized that as I grow older my music consumption habits have changed.

There's less time to listen to music at home and I find myself listening to it only in the car or while I'm working and neither case is conducive to reading liner notes. With the price of actual CDs on the rise, digital purchasing is making more sense because I'd just rip the disc and toss it into a box at this point anyway.

I really do miss seeing the story of the album unfold through the liner art because I appreciate the thought/care that goes into that but I just don't have time to pay attention to it any longer. :(

nulldevice said...

Not only do I buy most of my music digitally these days, but I also love liner notes. So this might be a big plus for me.