“British R&B star Estelle has seen her single American Boy plummet down the US chart after her latest album, Shine, was taken off iTunes in the States,” BBC News reports.
“Record label Warner made the move to force fans to buy the whole album, not just individual songs, reports said,” The Beeb reports. “Single American Boy, featuring Kanye West, was a UK number one in March.”
“It was in the iTunes top 10 in the US before its removal. It was also at 11 on the official Billboard singles chart – but has now dropped to number 37,” The Beeb reports. “The song has also fallen from number six to 59 on the Billboard download chart.”
“Meanwhile, Shine, which is nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in the UK, has dropped to number 159 on the Billboard album rundown,” The Beeb reports.
“She is signed to the same label as Kid Rock, who insisted that his hit single All Summer Long and album Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus were kept off iTunes in the US,” The Beeb reports. “But the album still reached number one, selling 1.7 million copies.”
“That has led Warner to explore whether fans of other artists could be persuaded to buy the whole album, according to the the Wall Street Journal,” The Beeb reports. “That is more lucrative to labels and artists than if just a few songs were picked to download from iTunes, which does not allow albums to be sold only in whole.”
The Beeb reports, “A Warner spokesman told the paper the removal of Shine from iTunes was part of a broad range of strategies ‘uniquely tailored to each artist and their fanbase in an effort to optimise revenues and promote long-term artist development,'”
Full article here.
Translation of Warner’s statement from Bullshitese to English:
The removal of “Shine” from iTunes Store was part of a broad range of strategies whereby we use Apple’s store to identify currently popular songs, then immediately pull them and attempt to force bundle sales of artificial constructs that we like to call “albums” in order to couch the bundling process within a term that we’ve conditioned the public to believe is “art.”
We hope to get much more cash for blow by forcing people to pay 10 times what they would’ve for the song they like by bundling 10 or so filler songs that nobody was buying anyway; like the good ol’ CD days of the 80s and 90s. Hey, it worked for Kid Rock. We think. Unless we forced so many free downloads via P2P that we actually screwed ourselves while also waking up the few remaining people who didn’t realize that we are greedy, devious scumbags who think we’re smarter than our customers and who could give a rat’s ass about fans, artists or anything else that doesn’t offer the possibility of adding more cash to our own pockets.
We hope people don’t begin to believe that it’s perfectly okay for them to “steal” from extortionist scumbags or we’ll be even more screwed than we are now, if that’s even possible.