We hate paying for things twice here at Crave, like the time we dropped our Shuffle in the Thames -- maddening. Digital music fans also dislike paying for things twice, so Apple has decided to credit users of the iTunes Store if they buy a single track and subsequently purchase the album it was released from.
This is a delightfully magnanimous gesture, and one that's certainly being greeted with very enthusiastic thumbs up from music fans around the globe. It's a great idea -- file it under "this is how it should be".
The premise behind the new 'Complete My Album' initiative is simple: if you've already bought a track off an album, you get the album for its full price minus the cost of the track you've already got -- so a 79p discount here in the UK. The idea is that this will encourage users to explore new music by purchasing singles, then be enticed to buy the rest of the album at a reduced price.
This move differs radically from the nature of buying CD singles, because a physical disc obviously costs money to manufacture and distribute. Getting a discount voucher inside a CD single that entitles you to a pound off the related album should happen, but never will. The 'Complete My Album' feature on iTunes doesn't require any upgrading of the network infrastructure the store is built on, because no additional media needs to be distributed and downloaded. It's simply a shift in pricing that benefits the consumer directly (who doesn't like a discount?) and hopefully helps improve the sales of digital music.
This new feature is now in operation in iTunes Stores around the world. It's Crave's hope that maybe after this, Apple will work on giving the UK some TV shows and movies to download too. -NL