How to smooth the path from a world of downloads to one of streaming music? Industry consultant Mark Mulligan has published his latest idea: The Hybrid Album. It includes two main features: first, whenever people buy two or more tracks from an individual album, the rest of the album and its artwork will also be downloaded to their computer or mobile device. Second, the songs that haven’t been bought can be streamed twice each, free of charge, with the option then to buy them, and the potential for ‘complete this album’ offers and discounts from the digital store. “It gives download customers a taste of the on-demand streaming experience but directly drives spending,” writes Mulligan on his blog. “The licensing that would underpin the Hybrid Album will be more complex than the consumer proposition but it is not exactly an insurmountable challenge, with plenty of analogous precedents to leverage.”

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