Sunday, March 16, 2014

iTunes Wants Exclusives

iTunes Exclusive image
Faced with a downturn in download sales, Apple is now seeking exclusives and additional content from artists in order for iTunes to retain its edge on various competitors. Using the Beyonce exclusive from her fifth album that was released in December as an example, Apple hopes to convince other artists that providing iTunes with a window of exclusivity can be an advantage for all concerned.

Although Beyonce's album became a big hit and was the fastest selling album in iTunes history, she suffered a backlash as a result of the exclusive when retail giants Target and refused to carry it. Few artists are able to sustain a retail boycott of any kind, which makes providing Apple with an exclusive all the more dubious. Plus, is this really serving the artist's fans in the long run? You really don't want your fans to jump through hoops to get your latest release.

Streaming is clearly picking up steam and iTunes, which has around 80% of the download market in the US, wants to maintain sales for as long as possible. That said, using Beyonce as an example is a little like saying you get a good ride in a Rolls Royce, when few of us ever get to experience it.

There seems to be little incentive in giving iTunes an exclusive, and a lot to lose if you do. Maybe it would be better if Apple concentrated more on iTunes Radio instead.

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