According to a report from the FT early this morning, Apple (AAPL) is joining forces with the four big record labels to offer a new interactive music album format complete with digital booklets, sleeve notes, and other paraphernalia.
Called “Cocktail,” the venture is aimed at stimulating full album sales rather than lower-margin individual songs. Unfortunately, despite being named after the greatest love story of our time, this venture is too little, too late.
The music industry’s in a downward spiral, primarily because people are conditioned to getting their music for free. Even if you don’t want to take the route of illegal downloads, you can listen to just about anything you want on YouTube or MySpace.
Yes, an interactive booklet might be cool, and might even bring back memories of the days when you actually got something interesting to hold in your hands. But for the majority of people, free is still better than cool, and all the extras can be found with a few simple Google (GOOG) searches.