Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Artists and Labels No Longer Working With iTunes

ITunes has been the runaway hit of the music business, selling more than five billion song downloads since it started five years ago. But a growing number of record companies are trying to steer clear of Apple Inc.'s behemoth music store, because they say selling single songs on iTunes in some cases is crimping overall music sales. Kid Rock's "Rock 'n Roll Jesus" album was kept off iTunes' virtual shelves. It has nonetheless sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S. since its release last year -- a sizable number for the depressed music industry. Sales of the album have increased in 19 of the past 22 weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan, vaulting it to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 sales chart. After witnessing the album's performance, his label, Warner Music Group Corp.'s Atlantic Records, last week yanked an album by R&B singer Estelle from the iTunes Store, four months after it went on sale there -- and the same week that one of its songs entered the top-10-selling tracks on Apple's download service. Label executives, managers and artists chafe against the iTunes policy that prevents them from selling an album only. ITunes, with few exceptions, requires that songs be made available separately. Consumers strongly prefer that, though Apple also typically offers a special price for buyers who purchase all the songs on an album.

No comments: