Though many consumers are turning to streaming services like Spotify for their music fix, Sony is hoping to spur digital album sales with a new app for the iPhone.
With the "Album of the Day" app, users can download an album from Sony Music Entertainment's catalog at a discount of up to 70%. The discounted album changes every day and the app sends users a notification letting them know what's on sale.
For the first album, Sony is selling Michael Jackson's posthumous "Xscape" for $5.99, down from its regular price of $9.99. The company said upcoming sales will include albums from Simon & Garfunkel, Santana, Dixie Chicks, Audioslave, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Kings of Leon, Pink, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, The Script, Usher, Meat Loaf, Rodriguez, Sade, Aerosmith and Alicia Keys.
Sony said the app originally launched in Germany this March where it saw "extremely successful results." The company hopes to replicate those sales in the U.S. and other markets, but Sony is going against the tide here.
In the U.S., album sales through the first six months of 2014 have been down 14.9% compared with the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen Soundscan, which tracks music sales. The decline goes beyond albums -- the average amount each iTunes account spends fell 24% year-to-year, a report earlier this year said.
At the same time, on-demand streaming through services like Spotify and Rdio has increased, up 50.1% year-to-year. That's why more tech companies have been investing on streaming.
This summer, Amazon launched Prime Music while Apple acquired Beats Music as part of its $3-billion purchase of Beats Electronics. Companies have also been investing in Internet radio streaming services; Google purchased Songza in July and Samsung launched Milk Music in March.