There's been a lot of speculation lately about whether iTunes is a boon or burden to album sales.
Kid Rock has sold more than 1.7 million copies of his latest album, Rock and Roll Jesus, with no iTunes presence at all. And last week, Warner Bros. pulled Estelle's new album from iTunes in the U.S. in hopes of spurring physical sales. (The plan appears to have failed miserably.)
Apple is striking back before this scattered practice turns into a trend. According to Music Week, the company is working with alternative rock band Snow Patrol on an interactive iPhone/iPod Touch application for its next album that will include more album art, videos, and--most important--lyrics, which are still way too hard to find online. (The exceptions are those pop-up-infested and largely inaccurate lyrics sites that show up in Google search.)
I hope this becomes standard practice for new releases--one of the greatest losses in the move from LP to CD to digital files was the gradual elimination of lyric sheets.