Bands Avoiding iTunes For The Wrong Reasons

from the it's-not-going-to-make-people-buy-the-album dept

This is hardly a new phenomenon, but the Wall Street Journal is noting that some bands and some record labels are avoiding putting music on iTunes (or in some cases, pulling music off iTunes) in an effort to force people to buy the full album, rather than just a few tracks. There are plenty of reasons to dislike iTunes, but it seems hard to believe that this does anything positive for the bands in question. The article quotes Kid Rock's manager, who compares apples to oranges, by pointing out that people who are on iTunes sell more single songs than albums, but that's rather meaningless in comparing to an artist (like Kid Rock) who's not on iTunes at all. Not putting your music where people want it is only going to piss them off.

Hell, even record industry execs are getting frustrated by bands not having their singles anywhere that can be downloaded legally. And, yet, the sister record label to the one that employs the annoyed exec above is experimenting with an even more annoying proposition: pulling popular songs from iTunes after they've become popular, to see if it gets more people to buy the CD.

Honestly, is it really that hard to understand the concept of providing the customer what they want in a convenient manner?

Filed Under: albums, itunes, kid rock, music, record labels, singles


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2008 @ 11:57am

    "is it really that hard to understand the concept ..." No, it isn't. They understand. They simply do not want do what you want.

    Mike, they aren't morons. Writing like everyone with whom you may have a disagreement about what is, after all, their business practice, are Idiots Who Just Don't Get It isn't a way to send a positive message. It makes you come off like one of those insufferable Linux snobs who look down at people who don't happen to use their favorite distro. We've got one of those, Richard Stallman. We don't need any others. You're smart, Mike. I'm smart, too. Sometimes I want to whack people and call them idiots for not getting it, but that generally doesn't work out. Sometimes people don't agree with you. This doesn't make them morons who "don't get it."

    Some of the bands are betting that Scenario One: five people buying one single will make less money for them than Scenario Two: one person buying one album.

    On top of it, look at where the value is at for a band - if a couple of those single-focused people in Scenario One would just pirate an MP3 anyway, their album focus makes sense.

    Albums as a whole unit can (not always, but certainly can) make sense from an artistic perspective. Some artists still try to do that. This happens in other artistic endeavors. David Lynch released the DVD of Mulholland Drive as a single chapter because he wanted people to grasp it as a whole piece, not in chunks. He felt that he wouldn't be sending the message he wanted if it was broken up into chunks.


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