Labels Flee iTunes to Push Album Sales

Record execs dislike Apple's singles-friendly policy
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Aug 28, 2008 9:36 AM CDT
Kid Rock cashed in on the catchy hit single "All Summer Long" by staying off iTunes and opting for album-only sales (1.6 million to date).   (AP Photo/Paul Vernon,File)
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(Newser) – Record labels have begun yanking their artists’ work from the iTunes, reports the Wall Street Journal, saying they can make more money selling intact albums than 99-cent singles downloads. Last year Atlantic Records kept Kid Rock's Rock 'n Roll Jesus album off the online shelves; when that album sold a hefty 1.7 million copies, they pulled an album from R&B singer Estelle from iTunes 4 months after it went on sale.

Calling the singles game the “death knell” of the industry, some labels are making the move even though customers prefer buying single tracks, and may resort to free, illegal downloads instead of shelling out for the whole album. But one industry observer says the new trend is unlikely to trigger a widespread desertion of iTunes unless several major artists get onboard. Americans bought 844 million tracks online last year, compared to 50 million digital albums.