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Apple to reel in digital music holdouts

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, August 21, 2006
News Categories: iTunes

Analysts say that the few remaining high-profile digital music holdouts—including the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Garth Brooks, Radiohead and Kid Rock—can’t avoid iTunes forever. With CD sales continuing to drop, it’s only a matter of time until the holdouts get on board, said Phil Leigh, an analyst with Inside Digital Media. “Any artist that doesn’t is going to be left at the station,” he said. “It’s not a secret that growth in the CD market is as dead as General Custer.” Artists argue online sales give them too small a profit, and that iTunes hurts the artistic integrity of an album by allowing customers to buy songs individually for 99 cents. “We’ve always thought certain artists put out albums that aren’t meant to be compilations with 50 other artists,” said Ed “Punch” Andrews, manager for both Seger and Kid Rock. “We’re hoping at some point albums become important again like they were in the past 30 years.”

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Comments

1

“Artists argue online sales give them too small a profit, and that iTunes hurts the artistic integrity of an album by allowing customers to buy songs individually for 99 cents.”

Perhaps when artists should start producing albums that people would actually want to buy in full.  If I can buy 3 out of 20 songs I actually like and skip the rest of filler tracks, what insentive is there to buy the entire album?

Posted by Chahk on August 21, 2006 at 10:48 AM (PDT)

2

Keep on hoping, buddy.

Posted by ort on August 21, 2006 at 10:57 AM (PDT)

3

Actually, Radiohead does sell their music online at the War Child website.

Posted by puppies on August 21, 2006 at 11:47 AM (PDT)

4

“...and that iTunes hurts the artistic integrity of an album by allowing customers to buy songs individually for 99 cents”

Not a very compelling argument when iTMS can easily (and frequently does) prevent the individual sale of songs, requiring a purchase of the entire album (Sin City Soundtrack, for example).

Posted by Whyren in Midwest on August 21, 2006 at 12:08 PM (PDT)

5

WHAT A LAUGH….MUSICAL INTEGRITY AND KID ROCK MWNTIONED IN THE SAME PARAGRAGH! PAM WOULD BE SO PROUD TO HEAR THAT HER NEW HUSBAND HAS REACHED SUCH A LEVEL OFGREATNESS!.

HEY KID, SELL WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN, YOU HAVEN’T BEEN POPULAR, IF EVER, FOR QUITE AWHILE!

Posted by jimcord on August 21, 2006 at 12:41 PM (PDT)

6

Maybe if artists stopped making one good song and then filling the rest of the album with crap songs and “skits”, the album would be important again!!!

Posted by Jeff on August 21, 2006 at 12:57 PM (PDT)

7

Bob Seger’s manager is a goddamned idiot.  Nothing is stopping him from putting the whole album on iTunes.  I shouldn’t be forced to listen to a bunch of ######## to get to the song I want.  You want me to listen to the whole album???  FILL IT WITH GOOD SONGS!!!

What a shitthead.

Posted by Frank Z on August 21, 2006 at 1:18 PM (PDT)

8

Hey musicians, YOU make the songs and I’LL decide which ones I want thank you very much.

Posted by Steve on August 21, 2006 at 2:44 PM (PDT)

9

We want Zeppelin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Mr. Anderson on August 21, 2006 at 2:50 PM (PDT)

10

at least on all of led zeppelin’s albums every single song is pure gold. (can’t say the same for kid rock and the like)

i do agree with zeppelin’s reasoning here: allowing you to acquire only one song COMPLETELY destroys the artistic concept of their work. how would leonardo feel if a museum just displayed mona lisa’s left eye?

i do not see why led zeppelin cannot tell apple to sell their albums in their entirety. i’m sure apple could simply put a restriction on led zeppelin’s albums, allowing you only to download the full album instead of one song.

Posted by mrmojorisingi on August 21, 2006 at 3:18 PM (PDT)

11

So, Led Zeppelin has never sold a CD, tape, or vinyl single?

Their REAL gripe is that the can’t charge third or half the price of an album for a single and a backside like they used to.

Posted by yyoo on August 21, 2006 at 3:36 PM (PDT)

12

I wonder why Led Zeppelin doesn’t forbid radio stations from playing individual tracks from their albums since singles compromise the ‘artistic integrity of the music.’

Posted by yyoo on August 21, 2006 at 3:40 PM (PDT)

13

Yeah, as others have pointed out, it’s certainly possible to make an album on iTMS only be purchasable in its entirety (and frequently does seem to be done when only a handful of songs are actually appealing…. I noticed this when I saw that I couldn’t buy “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)”, but instead would have to buy the entire soundtrack. 

And frankly, the whole bit about preserving the album is kind of ridiculous too.  Frankly, why would these artists ever allow their music to be split up into multiple tracks on a CD?  If they really had a problem with this, then they should make the entire album one long track (thus preventing things like a CD player’s shuffle mode from ruining the album). 

I fully understand the point about wanting to preserve the album, but there are plenty of ways to do that.  And honestly, what’s better?  Some kid downloading “Stairway to Heaven” because it isn’t even available for purchase, or a kid going ahead and taking a chance on buying the complete Led Zeppelin IV and getting to hear the whole thing by choice?

Posted by Zadillo on August 21, 2006 at 7:30 PM (PDT)

14

you idiots. led zeppelin has never, ever released a single. do research first.

Posted by mrmojorisingi on August 21, 2006 at 8:09 PM (PDT)

15

you idiots. led zeppelin has never, ever released a single. do research first.

If we ‘do research first’, you would lose. I would only have to go as far as my own 45rpm vinyl collection for proof, unless you’re saying that my ‘Fool In The Rain’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ 45s are nothing but vaporware.

This is case of old dogs not wanting to learn a new thing or two. However, I do wonder just what percentage of each sale a ‘legacy’ artist would actually get…you can bet that text like ‘digital downloads’ wasn’t in their original contracts.

Posted by flatline response on August 21, 2006 at 10:36 PM (PDT)

16

at least on all of led zeppelin’s albums every single song is pure gold.

Not exactly…

Posted by Kupo on August 22, 2006 at 12:04 AM (PDT)

17

you idiots. led zeppelin has never, ever released a single. do research first.
Boy, you really did embarrass yourself by talking out of your hat.  I personally have bought 45 RPMs of Led Zepplin.

Posted by Obadiah on August 22, 2006 at 7:49 AM (PDT)

18

“Stairway To Heaven” the most-popular song of all-time on Classic Rock radio was never released as a single.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on August 22, 2006 at 10:03 AM (PDT)

19

Artistic integrity - right.  If your issue is artistic integrity, do free shows full of your average and poor efforts and feel good about yourself.  But it isn’t.

It’s about money.  You want paid full price for half assed work.  Join the rest of the modern world.  Move right on out of your Al Bundyish yesteryear fanasy world and jopin us.  You will get paid for exactly what people want to pay for, for exactly the price they want to pay.  Don’t try to force me to support your idea of art by prejudging your “art” as worth somethiong to someone besides yourself.

Welcome to the digital democracy, where I get to decide what strikes my fancy without being told by you what else I need to buy to make my experience with your art whole.  Honeslty, don’t you suppose that, if the artistry of an album was such that all of the compositions and performances were necesary to complete the experience, that I’d be back for the rest later?

Posted by bahamabruce on August 22, 2006 at 12:14 PM (PDT)

20

My CD collection includes many I purchased because I liked two or three tracks and the rest is digital fodder which I will seldom listen to.I don’t buy other consumables that way. Times are changing and there is no turning back from this. I think this will stimulate artists to put their soul into every piece and turn out better music.

Posted by Jim Bittner on August 22, 2006 at 3:36 PM (PDT)

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