CD Replication & DVD Duplication Services UK  CD Duplication & DVD Duplication Services UK

iTunes – a boost for artists? Not always financially!

It has long been considered that the CD is no longer a format consumers want for music and instead digital downloads are quite simply the only way forward. Why is it then some major artists and labels are turning their back on iTunes? When you consider iTunes alone provides in the region of 90% of all music downloads, you would think it to be a bad business decision not to include your tracks on this platform. However this is what is currently hapenning.

Artists and labels release complete albums of work and traditionally, 2 or 3 tracks have been released from these albums as singles for promotion. The goal of course to generate higher sales of the entire album. Singles never created a huge income due to costs involved almost matching that of producing the entire album however with interest generated by these singles the album sales inevitably increase which ultimately generates greater income of which a greater percentage is profit.

It is an accurate assumption now to make the physical single product has pretty much had its day and has been replaced with downloads however iTunes takes the whole scenario one stage further and allows individual track selection and purchase from entire albums as well. Therefore effectively offering an entire catalogue of singles available for purchase. When you consider Apple take 30% of the sale price before any label, distributor and of course artist gets any cut, but if they only sell for example 4 tracks from an album at 79p each, that amounts to a pretty large loss of margin against sale of the entire album.

Some download sites restrict single track sales to actual single releases and entire albums have to be purchased in their entirety but with only 10% of the download market left after iTunes, this again amounts to very low figures. This is probably the reason why some are avoiding iTunes. There are many artists who we would consider as legends, such as The Eagles, The Beatles and AC/DC to name a few that have never licensed their material for iTunes and in fact their physical album (CD) sales have consistantly increased since the 2003 launch of iTunes. Another legendary act, The Rolling Stones, do have their material on iTunes  and have sold more than 6 million individual tracks as downloads but their entire album sales have dropped dramatically. While the download figure sounds impressive, overall profits are far lower than if albums sales had been achieved rather than individual downloads.

Because of such figures recent acts have had albums removed (or never released) from iTunes by their labels as a move to increase album sales and an attempt to avoid an entire singles market.  Kid Rock and Estelle are amongst those whose albums are available in CD format or entire album download (where available) only. I am sure most artists would want to achieve entire album sales rather than individual tracks regardless of who they are. Not only for the profit reasons but probably more important to them is the fact an album is an entire story of work at that time. 

The test of time will be if this bold move proves successful but to date it does seem that consumers DO still want albums and the majority of those still want it on CD!  Digital Disc Duplication UK firmly backs this move – not simply because we offer CD replication but because we love music and truly believe artists should benefit financially from their hard work and talent and more importantly because they should get the choice to present their music in its entire form as intended rather than having it ripped apart.