Time reports today that Apple and U2 are in the midst of another collaboration. The two parties are said to be working together on a new music format that will improve digital music sales.
Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”
Digital music sales continue to decline as consumers turn to online streaming services such as Pandora, and Apple’s own iTunes Radio and Beats Music for their music fix. Nielsen SoundScan data show digital album sales down 15% in the first half of 2014, while digital track sales were also down 13% for that period. Meanwhile, streaming music numbers increased by 42%.