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More Artists Avoiding iTunes

Estelle and Kid Rock Join List of Artists Saying No to iTunes

There's an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today about a trend toward record companies pulling their artists' records from the iTunes Music Store — and/or avoiding iTunes altogether — because selling singles at Apple's mp3 store isn't always as profitable (or necessary) as people think. Kid Rock's latest album, Rock 'n Roll Jesus, was never sold on iTunes, for example, and he still managed to sell 1.7 million copies in the US alone. Estelle is on the same label as Rock, and after seeing how well his album has done, the label yanked hers from iTunes as well — even though she currently has one of the hottest singles of the Summer.

I naively thought the ailing music business had finally surrendered to the download. Now I'm not sure where I stand on all this. From an artistic perspective, I think some albums really are a total package, and it's a shame to pick them apart by only buying singles. That's why Jay-Z refused to sell his American Gangster album on iTunes last year, stating, "As movies are not sold scene by scene, this collection will not be sold as individual singles."

On the other hand, not all "collections" are a work of art. Do we really need to listen to Katy Perry's album front to back rather than picking and choosing what songs we like? I bet a lot of people are glad they could buy just "I Kissed a Girl" on iTunes rather than shelling out $10 or more to get that one song.

So what do you think? Is this smart on the part of record labels, and does it preserve the integrity of the album format? Or is this just delaying the inevitable? I have to say, as I scan my iTunes library, I sure have a lot of unrelated singles mashed together, which is really different from my CD book from the old high school and college days.


Join The Conversation
pinkmystic pinkmystic 9 years
I would rather buy actual albums of the artist i love because then i could share with my friends. Everyone wins. I hate how itunes doesn't let me do that (plus you could accidentally delete your songs.. :()
scotlandrulz scotlandrulz 9 years
itunes is far too expensive!!
Allyace Allyace 9 years
I love iTunes. There are a ton of songs that I would never buy the full album but am happy to buy a single I like. There are very few bands that I want the whole album for.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 9 years
I am a big iTunes user. I still love buying the actual album and looking through the booklet and everything. I love that! I think they should put the albums on iTunes and then make it just album only- that way they keep the integrity of the album, but people still can listen to it, track by track. And really, Kid Rock? lol
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
If I truly love an artist I will buy their CD without a doubt. I want to support them. But for 95% of the rest of them, no thanks, only 1 song at a time.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 9 years
I really couldn't care less about the artist's point of view or what they have to say, so I won't be buying a complete album just because a single isn't available.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
I've come across scant albums in the last ten years that have more than two songs worthy of listening to.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i can respect the desire to maintain full albums, but if you think about it, you buy more singles because you've heard them and want to update a play list. ....if you're paying $1 per single and you buy 20 of them, you're paying more than the cost of an album which you might not buy since you can't guarantee that you'll like all the tracks. i think that record labels should consider this to be a way for them to invest less up front on new artists to see how the population will respond and then test a full album once the singles sell to a certain point on iTunes.
Dana-Lou Dana-Lou 9 years
I honestly don't get the big deal. I would think that i tunes would have to have agreements with music artists before they could sell there albums on the website. If they didn't the artists could sue. So if these artists are no longer selling there music from this website whats the deal? Obviously it hasn't hurt Kid Rocks sales. If these music artists are worried about profit shouldn't they haggle as a union to raise the price of individual songs under contract? Trying to convince the American People a country by the way that loves to have choices won't sway anyone from not buying. I love to have choices and like the 99cent a song offer in no way would I like to see a raise in the price. Just seems asinine on there part. Just seems like a little bit of friendly competition to make better songs to produce for there albums. That's all right by me if music artists come out with better music for my buck!
shepptacular shepptacular 9 years
I think that this is profitable for the artist..but if people don't want to buy their full album..they won't..and if a person can't purchase a single from off an album because it isn't on itunes...honestly...they'll get it some other way.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I feel divided about this. I understand that sometimes you need to listen to the whole album to understand the artist's point of view, but most of the time there are only 1 or 2, maybe 3, great songs on each CD that you will listen to over and over again. at least that's usually the case with me. If it is a band I really like and their album has gotten great reviews, THEN I will shell out money for the whole album.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
i've never used itunes & i don't really listen to the radio, so my music purchases aren't driven by flavor of the month singles.
I will never, ever, pay for the whole CD again. Never. Unless I genuinely like the artist or the songs. I have actually brought whole albums from iTunes. However if an artist insists on not putting their songs on itunes...ok...there is like totally another way to get the song you want. I haven't made a purchase on iTunes in awhile but my iPod gets new songs on it all the time. ;)
elle619 elle619 9 years
I just got into buying music from iTunes and love the option of not having to buy a whole CD because I like one song. However, if there are multiple singles from an artist I like I just shell out the cash and buy the CD. I think for me not having the option to purchase the single will not make it anymore enticing to buy the whole CD for one song.
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