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Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Michael Jackson's posthumous album will be on Apple's iTunes

Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson reportedly will allow the artist's new album to be sold on the iTunes Music Store, dispelling a rumor to the contrary that surfaced early Wednesday.

"Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' album will indeed be available for sale on iTunes on Oct. 27," Epic Records Senior Vice President of Publicity Lois Najarian told Wired. "I don't have much more information to impart other than that right now, but suffice to say fans will be able to purchase it there."

However, Najarian went on to add that the two sides are "working on" an issue over the sale of individual tracks. The question remains as to whether Sony and the Jackson estate will allow individual tracks to be sold on iTunes, or if Apple will require the sale of the full album.

Earlier Wednesday, Digital Music News incorrectly reported that Michael Jackson's forthcoming album, "This Is It," would not be made for sale on iTunes when it is released on Oct. 26 overseas and Oct. 27 in North America. Sources allegedly said that Sony Music Entertainment and the Jackson estate only want digital sales of the album to come bundled, rather than offering the sale of individual tracks. The latter part may be true, but Najarian explicitly said the rumor of the album's absence from iTunes was "incorrect."

Apple does have one format that by default requires the purchase of a full album: The new iTunes LP format, previously codenamed "Cocktail," was designed to spur sales of albums. In addition to the album, the format includes bonus content like photos and videos. It's possible that "This Is It" could be an iTunes LP format exclusive on the music store.

The two-disc compilation will coincide with the release of the feature film, "Michael Jackson's This Is It," which features a concert rehearsal filmed by the legendary artist shortly before his death. Jackson had planned a 50-date tour before he died of cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home in June.

The album will include remastered versions of some of Jackson's biggest hits, including "Thriller" and "Beat It." Two version of the title track, "This Is It," are also included. It is a previously unreleased song originally recorded in 1983.

This Is It


Following Jackson's death, fans flocked to iTunes to purchase songs from the artist, catapulting six of his songs to the top 10 sold on the U.S. store. In addition, nine out of the top ten albums sold on the service came from Jackson immediately following his passing.

The song "Billy Jean" was one of the first to be featured in the iTunes D45 product released this summer. Just like old 45s, the iTunes D45 selection includes a popular single accompanied by a B-side song. Prices on the D45s range from $1.49 to $1.99.