SEATTLE (Hypebot) – Apple is denying reports that it charges a $10,000 "production fee" to become part of the new iTunes LP platform designed to add value and revitalize falling album download sales.
Brian McKinney of Chicago indie Chocolate Lab Records had done some digging and been told by his distributor that "Apple was charging a fee of $10,000 to produce them, but aside from the cost, they were not being opened up to indie labels." But UK tech site Electric Pig says it was contacted by an Apple spokesperson who said, "“We’re releasing the open specs for iTunes LP soon, allowing both major and indie labels to create their own. There is no production fee charged by Apple,” and others are confirming the story.
The roll out of any new format often begins with restrictions and then is spread to the broader industry. But too much delay – or any excessive fees – returns to the major labels some of the competitive advantage that iTunes and digital distribution took away.