Apple has announced that it will offer customers who buy singles money off if they upgrade to the full album later on.

Rather than charge users for the tracks again, the Complete My Album service will give them a full 79 pence credit for every track they have previously purchased from that album.

“Music fans can now round out their music collections by upgrading their singles into complete albums with just one click, and get full credit for those songs they have previously purchased from iTunes”, said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “Complete My Album is a wonderful new way that iTunes helps customers grow and enjoy their music collections.”

The music industry has greeted the move; “With Complete My Album, iTunes is giving music fans the best of both worlds - the ability to discover great new music by buying just the single and a credit toward the purchase of the complete album”, said Thomas Hesse, president, Global Digital Business and US Sales, Sony BMG Music Entertainment

However they will be a time limit on the offer. Customers looking to benefit will have to buy the album 180 days after the purchase of the first single to qualify for the reduced price.

When users buy any song on iTunes the corresponding album will immediately appear on their personalised Complete My Album page with the reduced price listed.

For example, a user who’s already purchased three 79 pence singles and decides to buy the corresponding £7.99 album would be able to download the remaining songs to complete the album for just £5.62, without having to buy the singles again.