Just days after the head of an independent label claimed Apple (s aapl) was charging as much as $10,000 in production fees associated with the new media format, Apple has denied that there are any production charges at all. Even better, the iTunes LP format will soon be available to all content creators.
Introduced at the Apple Music Event last month, the attempt to create an interactive album for the digital age has thus far generated more controversy than content. As of today, there are currently 13 iTunes LPs available, which is why the claims of exorbitant production costs and exclusion of independent labels seemed curious, but not necessarily out of character, for a controlling company like Apple.
However, Electricpig reports that Apple is “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.” While some will think this clears Apple, keep in mind that “no production fee” does not necessarily mean Apple was not charging content creators money, or acting as a gatekeeper for the major record labels. This is Apple, after all.
Such policies do contrast with the technology itself, though, which is based on WebKit, the open-source browser engine. In fact, iTunesLP.net already allows for anyone to create iTunesLPs without Apple or the iTunes Store. Still, the success of iTunes LP will require both, and it’s welcoming news to see the company affirming its commitment to iTunes LPs for all.