Apple: We do not charge a production fee for iTunes LP

“Brian McKinney, who runs Chicago’s Chocolate Lab Records, claimed at the weekend that iTunes charges a $10,000 production fee for iTunes LP, a new digital format that pairs additional content such as lyrics and videos with album downloads,” MusicWeek reports.

“However, an iTunes spokesman says the fee is fiction,” MusicWeek reports. “‘There is no production fee charged by Apple,’ he says. ‘We’re releasing the open specs for iTunes LP soon, allowing both major and indie labels to create their own.'”

Full article here.


  1. Interesting as I remember reading a story a few weeks ago about how Apple was so helpful to Fueled by Ramen in getting the Paramore – Brand New Eyes (Deluxe Version) iTunes-LP done by the release date and how please they were with the result, concept and the fact that Apple was doing the iTunes LPs at No cost and were make all the tools and code for the iTunes LP available to the labels and artists at no cost too.

    Sounds like Choco Lab was just attempting to fudge pack some more profits out of it’s artists but, instead got fudge packed by the truth.

  2. In the article, McKinney backtracks and claims the problem isn’t a fee, but that independently created iTunes LPs can’t be sold on iTunes. That’s also a load of horsesh*t. Apple says in their statement that the open specs for iTunes LP will be released soon, allowing anyone to create the format and sell it on the iTunes store.

    So basically, McKinney is impatient and an idiot. Just the person you want behind your music career.


  3. I also want to point out that Fueled by Ramen is an Indie Label and the Paramore Brand New Eyes is one of the first new releases (Sept. 29, 2009) to be released with an iTunes LP version, if it was not, the first new release to be released with an iTunes LP version on release day.
    So, how exactly is Apple excluding Indie Labels as Choco claimed? If one of the first new releases, to have an iTunes LP Version is an Indie Label release then exclusion of indie labels would be in Brian McKinney Choco Hole of a brain.

  4. It’s not just that someone can say something that is patently untrue, it’s that so many blogs and so called legitimate publications pick this up and either without checking facts or with gleeful malice, repeat a lie like this many times over. What ever happened to ethics in journalism or the sense of responsibility that should come with the right of freedom of the press? All lost in a single minded rush to gain readership/advertisers at the expense of their readers and their credibility.

    I propose that a new convention be established that requires these pseudo journalists to publish their pages with a yellow background so we, the reader, can distinguish which is fiction and which might actually contain some substance..

  5. Why would anyone buy an LP in the first place?

    Isn’t music aural not visual? Hot babes writhing around onscreen do not help improve a lousy piece of music. Liner notes on a shitty band do not fix the band’s problems.

    Buy the tunes you like, don’t buy the crappy LP fillers.

  6. <i>quoting Big Als MBP: “Why would anyone buy an LP in the first place?

    Isn’t music aural not visual? Hot babes writhing around onscreen do not help improve a lousy piece of music. Liner notes on a shitty band do not fix the band’s problems.

    Buy the tunes you like, don’t buy the crappy LP fillers.”<i>

    Hallelujah! I’m completely with this. With all the packaging going on, and the songs being restricted to complete album sales, even on, fer cryin’ out loud, the consumer is slowly… maybe not so slowly… being forced back into the old model – album sales. Why on earth Apple finally began capitulating to this outmode concept, I’ll never quite get. I also have been an eMusic consumer on a plan which gave me 65 downloads per month for 14.95. Now, I’m down to 37 downloads per month, all because supposedly they brought some “big names” into the fold (springsteen, u2, etc…) Well, I had iTunes for that stuff. EMusic was for all the hidden gems, and stuff I’d never have found, or bought for 99¢ – and most of my music purchase over the last three or four years have been from eMusic. Now, they’re also doing the variable pricing (some albums with 8 songs cost 14 download credits, with selected songs only available with complete album download) and the type of music I normally looked for there costs me considerably more than before, and the supposed additions of “mainstream” stars just doesn’t really feel like an addition, to be honest. I’m not that into mainstream, and I’m afraid that’s what’s taking over, even the furthest reaches of the music distribution business. Too damn bad.

    PS: I am glad indie musicians can get complete album packaging done, and compete with the big boys, but is that what the fans of music really want? Do we want liner notes and lyrics and photos? I say, No! That’s all available online one place or another. I think most music buyers would really rather have more choices in the individual tracks we buy, like it used to be.

    In the end the last refuge is probably places like iCompositions and for truly independent music – you just have to look a bit harder for the good stuff, but it’s there. And it’s untainted by the music industry.

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