When AC/DC release their new album Black Ice on October 20th exclusively through Wal-Mart, the album will join the Beatles catalog and Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus in the small "Not Available on iTunes" club. While the stance has done wonders for Jesus' renaissance, it nearly ruined Estelle's chart momentum. Despite the Wal-Mart exclusivity, AC/DC's Angus Young said Black Ice wouldn't show up on Apple's digital store anyway because "We don't make singles, we make albums."
iTunes allows customers to choose between single song or full album purchases. "Way back in the Seventies, we drew these figures on the back of an envelope for our record company. We showed them how much they earned from us if we sold 1 million singles and how much they earned if we sold 1 million albums," Young said. "The difference was staggering. That was to get them off our back because we only very grudgingly release singles. Our real reason is that we honestly believe the songs on any of our albums belong together."
Young also says that he recently met some bands that discussed withdrawing from iTunes as well because "I told them that since iTunes came into existence, we've actually increased our back catalog sales without being on the site." Young makes an interesting point: The Beatles and AC/DC rank one and two on the list of highest-selling back catalogs, and neither appear on iTunes. The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, ranked sixth on the list and are available on iTunes.
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