As difficult as this is to believe, there are still big-name artists that don’t think that things like iTunes and streaming music services are a viable business model.
Ever search for Tool on iTunes? Not gonna find any of their original stuff there. If you want any of their music, buy the CD.
Up until this week, Def Leppard was in the same boat. They sold over 100 million records over the course of their career but didn’t have any of their stuff available for those who wished to access their music digitally.
To be fair, though, they did have a big dispute over licensing with their record label (Mercury/Universal) that held things up for a while. But the group was also really, really annoyed at the rates they were getting for digital distribution.
Negotiations started in earnest four years ago in order to align all the “commercial, legal and artistic aspirations” of the group and the label. Finally, though, there has been an agreement. Welcome to the 21st century, boys.
So who are the remaining major holdouts with iTunes? It depends on which digital platform you’re talking about.
Tool: Maynard says digital distribution is “just this disconnected thing that you can’t touch and feel and experience.” Funny how Puscifer and A Perfect Circle are available in iTunes.
Garth Brooks: Nope. With the exception of some duets and covers–material which is licensed differently–all his original solo material is absent from every digital platform.
And, er, that’s it. The Beatles, Bob Seger and King Crimson were all once iTunes holdouts, but they’ve all since the light.
Meanwhile, there are still plenty of artists who refuse to stream their music. Good luck with that, people. It’s just a matter of time before you bend that way, too.