Apple today will launch a new marketing and promotional effort designed to drive music buyers to music-themed movies in its video store.

The most visible change to the iTunes service will be a Music Movies landing page dedicated to music films such as concert movies, documentaries and music-focused feature films. Additionally, Apple plans to negotiate exclusive access to new music-themed movies to make them available for home distribution on iTunes before the physical DVD makes its way to retail shelves or rental stores.

One of the first exclusives is "It Might Get Loud," the documentary about guitar gods Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White, which iTunes will offer from Dec. 8 - 22 before any other outlet. Pre-orders start today. Another is the Kings of Leon concert film "Kings of Leon, Live at the O2" from Nov. 3 - 10.

And finally, Apple is expanding catalog of older music-based films with such titles as "The Song Remains the Same," "U2: Rattle and Hum," "Buena Vista Social Club," "Don't Look Back-Bob Dylan," John Lennon Imagine," "Neil Young: Heart of Gold," "This Is Spinal Tap," "Purple Rain," and "The Doors."

The service already includes video content in artist-based search results, and artists and labels won't be able to add concert films to the content available in the iTunes Pass program.

The company hopes to increase video sales on iTunes in part by luring music consumers to its library of music-themed movies. While Apple has not released any specific figures, it sells far more music than videos, and hopes to create a strong bridge between its music catalog and its video catalog by focusing on content that appeals to music fans.

That's good news for the music industry, which has watched sales of music DVDs crater in the last two years as the overall market for DVDs is shrinking. According to the Digital Entertainment Group, revenue from DVD sales fell 9% from 2007 to 2008, and in the first half of this year fell another 13.5%. Music-themed DVDs are faring much worse, with sales revenue falling 54.7% from 2007 to 2008, according to the RIAA. While the RIAA has no estimates yet for this year's music DVD sales revenue, SoundScan data shows unit sales are down about 27% over last year's total at this time.

Retailers like Wal-Mart and Best-Buy have already begun reducing floor and shelf space of DVDs, just like CDs. But also like music sales, the movie business is moving increasingly digital. The Digital Entertainment Group says digital movie sales and rentals jumped 21% to $968 million in the first half of this year.