August 23, 2007
Garth Brooks spinning his decision to not release his music digitally:
“For people who have all the records, to have them come get this compilation of 33 songs and then 33 videos and know that Wal-Mart is gonna have it probably somewhere between 11 and 14 bucks. I feel really good about that. When you go online, if you wanna pay 99 cents for all of them at 33 bucks…the math’s pretty easy.”
Isn’t that magnamonious of him? He would release his music digitally, but he doesn’t want the consumer to get ripped off and have to pay all that extra money!
Except for one little problem. iTunes and other digital music stores allow an option to sell the album only, and they also have flexible pricing. Even the standard price for a double album is $19.98, but he could have them charge as little or as much as he wants.
I suspect his real concern is a digital release would mean that consumers could just go and buy the four new tracks, and not be forced to buy a ton of music they already own again. And even if they sold the album only, digital technology would make it fairly easy for people to share the album with their friends.
Quite frankly, Garth is showing his age. He’s still stuck in a twentieth century mentality. If he wants to remain relevant to the younger generation of music consumers, his music has to be available for them to download. If he seriously thinks a teenager is going to get “Friends in Low Places” at Wal-Mart when they can’t find it on iTunes, instead of just hitting Limewire, he’s delusional. Heck, I’m 28, and I’ll just spend my money on something other than The Ultimate Hits if I can’t get it on iTunes. Why he continues to limit the options of his potential audience – first with his exclusive deals and now by stubbornly refusing to go digital – is beyond me.