AC/DC And Kid Rock Finally Realize That Selling Tracks Online Is Probably A Good Idea

from the well-look-at-that dept

A few years ago, people always referred to the Beatles as the biggest holdouts in terms of releasing their music for sale as MP3s online (mainly iTunes). However, the Beatles finally came around in November of 2010. After that, people started putting together lists of who was left and AC/DC and Kid Rock seemed to top most of those lists. So it seems noteworthy that both have just caved. Kid Rock’s new album is available on iTunes, with someone saying that he finally realized that he could “no longer ignore how much money he was leaving on the table.” And, the latest is that AC/DC has come around as well. Of course, AC/DC wasn’t just not selling downloadable tracks, but they seemed philosophically opposed to the whole concept based on some of their quotes:

“I know the Beatles have changed but we’re going to carry on like that,” guitarist Angus Young told Sky News in May 2011, after the Beatles had ended their own iTunes holdout. “For us it’s the best way. We are a band who started off with albums and that’s how we’ve always been.”

Back in October 2008, the band were even more hardline. “Maybe I’m just being old-fashioned, but this iTunes, God bless ’em, it’s going to kill music if they’re not careful,” singer Brian Johnson told Reuters.

“It’s a…monster, this thing. It just worries me. And I’m sure they’re just doing it all in the interest of making as much…cash as possible. Let’s put it this way, it’s certainly not for the… love, let’s get that out of the way, right away.”

Yup. But apparently they’re finally realizing that maybe it helps to go where your fans are. A bit late.

Of course, looking at those quotes, they sound mighty familiar to what we’re hearing these days about other services like Pandora and Spotify. Why is it that there’s always a contingent of musicians who so want to hate the services that actually deliver a legal product to fans?

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Comments on “AC/DC And Kid Rock Finally Realize That Selling Tracks Online Is Probably A Good Idea”

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MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Too late

They waited until 2012 in order to sell their tracks online. They already left that money on the table.

Not to mention that I bought tapes of their albums before CDs and CD players got cheap, but I still copied single songs to mix tapes because that was the way to listen to their music the way I wanted. Though I do have to say that some of their albums had good play through for sequential tracks, like side two of Back in Black).

If you leave money lying around for ten years, don’t be surprised if it’s not there when you wake up from your self-induced digital coma.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

RIAA Hardliners

Don’t be too hard on these artists. They are very used to the parasitic relationship they have with their labels and are being told how bad the internet is for music.

It’s not really their fault that they don’t have a clue how music is shared now or how quickly they fall off the radar.

This is for AC/DC, Kid Rock and any other hold outs.

Consumer wants music. Consumer thinks of AC/DC song he likes. Consumer goes to iTunes to buy song. Song isn’t there so consumer looks on Spotify. Song isn’t there so consumer gives up and thinks of a song from another band and looks on iTunes. Song is there, consumer buys.

So much is now available to the consumer on iTunes and Spotify that consumer quickly forgets about the music that isn’t available.

Zakida Paul says:

Don't blame ACDC

They are a band from an era where the Internet was not an option. They had to sign with a record label because there was no other option at that time and said record label have them brainwashed (just like other bands on the books) into believing this Internet thing is a fad.

It is great to see them selling digitally but it won’t matter to me as they are one of a few bands for whom I have all of their physical albums.

out_of_the_blue says:

Why do you always trumpet sell-outs?

Even if wrong on their notions, they’ve just given in to greed. Note “cash” and “money” are the stated motives.

But as usual, you try to play this exercise in greed as supporting your notions. Here’s just some of the ways it’s generally applicable to the current “business model”:

)Itunes was funded by deep deep pocket Apple, with attendant promotion + muscling of industry.

) The bands ref’d have already (LONG since for one) been promoted, gotten a following — besides gotten back many, many times over their “sunk (or fixed) costs”, so according to Mike should be charging only just above incremental cost of bandwidth, but they ain’t.

) “but this iTunes” — Is revolting, just another middle-man making more money than artists. HOW is that new and improved? All you’re saying is that the middle-men have changed. [I wouldn’t touch Itunes with YOUR pole. Note that I’ve left a specific length out to prevent obvious jokes.]

Click here for Mike “Streisand Effect” Masnick!
Help make Mike the #1 quipper on the net! — Click one for The Quipper!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why do you always trumpet sell-outs?

On the contrary, he, and other trolls like him are very consistent, in that they always take the stance opposite of the article, whatever it happens to be.

Now, when it comes to being logically consistent with their points, that’s another thing entirely, and in that you would be totally correct.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why do you always trumpet sell-outs?

No, no, no… this is the story Mike’s written about artists getting paid, so they have to pretend to be on the side of culture and artistic endeavour. You’re referring to the response to the next article Mike writes about greater freedom and creativity, at which point ootb and his crew will whine about artists not getting paid millions for something they did 30 years ago.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Why do you always trumpet sell-outs?

Apple only ‘muscled in’ because the music industry fell asleep on the job and sleep-sued Napster into uselessness, throwing the digital baby out with the bathwater. Then tried to sue anyone else with any digital connection. It took a company with the size and cojones (and lawyers) of Apple to force them into doing the right thing a little, finally. Remind me, why are we supposed to feel sympathy for the music industry?

And no-one is saying that the bands ‘ought’ to get nothing for what they did. Just that they don’t ‘deserve’ to get whatever random number they assume from past glories. Copyright shouldn’t be welfare, let alone a multi-generational stipend.

Lord Binky says:

No one these guys have ever worked with was doing it for the love of music while just by coincidence just happened to be making tons of money at the same time.

They must believe their dealers when they tell them that they sell the cocaine because they love the drug, not the money.

If you ever did anything in the previous music industry purely for the love of music, you got taken advantage of by someone who did it for the love of money, end result always being the guy in control was doing it for the love of money. What’s new? They don’t have someone hired by the industry to be their personal assistant anymore? That’s there for the love of music of course.

Anonymous Coward says:

“but this iTunes” — Is revolting, just another middle-man making more money than artists.

Actually, I’m fairly sure artists make more than iTunes per track. And as far as being a middle man goes, you assume that’s necessarily a BAD thing. The middle mans job is to get product to consumers, and frankly, for the most part iTunes does it better than a band having a few MP3’s on their website.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

One always has to question the real reason in these cases.
There are many notorious holdouts from digital sales, and some gave in only a little bit when Apple allowed them to block single sales.

The idea that their album is perfect and awesome and to break it into tracks somehow ruins their artist credibility… so why are they not blocking themselves from radio?
The real reason, I suspect, is they have contracts that predate the idea of singles. They do not understand the digital music scene and only see they are getting a small amount vs the large amount they get for a whole album. So they feel it is in their best interests to sell only the “full album” rather than to let the fans decide what they like and want.
Look how long it took cassette singles to get popular, and then cd singles. Are they any different than the 45’s from the ice age of music? Popular track on side a and something else on side b. Funny how some b sides ended up being much more popular than the promoted a side.

DogBreath says:

So how does AC/DC explain this?

Rock Solid: AC/DC Stand Firm On Downloads

Speaking at the world premiere of their new concert film in London, the band?s guitarist Angus Young said he refuses to sanction allowing individual tracks to be downloaded because their songs should be heard as part of a full album.

So all of those 45 RPM records of AC/DC songs should have never been produced because “their songs should be heard as part of a full album” (I’ve never heard of a full album being only two songs, but I guess it’s possible). Oh wait, that is how many, many songs were sold in those days. Too bad if they had some kind of record contract that wouldn’t let them choose what would be released onto 45’s back then, but the digital distribution angle “anvil” clearly fell upon their heads by their own design.

It took them long enough to discover that these are not “those days” anymore, and to actually allow the fans to purchase the music the way they want to buy it. Just because someone loves a song on an album, it won’t make them automatically love the rest of them.

gorehound (profile) says:

Too late

I personally am not into this Band at all.I might of liked them for a short while in the 70’s but they are not my bag at all.Just another one of the whining Big Sell-Out Rock Acts.

On the other hand I have no issues at all crankin to 11 my Rose Tattoo Vinyl LP’s.
Nice Boys Don’t Play Rock N Roll !!!

And in the streets the garbage lies
Protected by a million flies
With roaches so big they got bones
They moved in and made themselves at home

I say nice boys…don’t play rock’n’roll
Nice boys…don’t play rock’n’roll
I’m not a nice boy!

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