Yes, this is part of Apple's new strategy. In an earlier post, you'll see that Scott Leslie raises some concerns about the proprietary and exclusive nature of some of the features, and the fact that you have to meet all of Apple's standards in order to offer your product on iTunes. But it is still an interesting approach, isn't it. Makes it easy for consumers who have already drunk the Apple Kool-aid.
I received a tweet about a TED online course through iTues U titled "Creative Problem Solving". When I open iTunes it provided a free subscription to the course. It opened as a book into my iTunes U library. It appears to include text, pictures, and videos. I am very interested in creating an online course in this format.