Garth Brooks to Finally Stream Music, Plans GhostTunes Exit
A selection of Garth Brooks’ music is finally available for streaming exclusively on Amazon Music Unlimited, the digital music service launched last week by the online retail giant. The announcement follows the recent news that Brooks’ 11th studio album Gunslinger will be released on November 25th.
Beginning today, Music Unlimited subscribers can stream Gunslinger’s lead single “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” as well as the entirety of singles-oriented collections The Ultimate Hits and Double Live. Gunslinger will be available in full soon, as well as Brooks’ Christmas duet album with Trisha Yearwood, Christmas Together. Additionally, Brooks’ back catalog will soon be available for digital download in mp3 format – as full albums only – and will be added later to stream, following the Target exclusive 10-disc box set Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection arriving November 11th.
“[W]e’d already entered the Target deal when Amazon came along,” Brooks recently told Billboard. “They played very nice with each other. Because of the Target deal, the [albums are] delayed, but will be on there.”
Brooks’ music was previously only available for digital download (though not streaming) via GhostTunes, the service he helped launch in September 2014 around the time his album Man Against Machine was released. Speaking to Billboard, he revealed that he wasn’t sure what would ultimately become of GhostTunes but that his music would be gone from the service.
“So probably through the first of the year, once they get all their commitments fulfilled – whether GhostTunes goes away or not, I don’t know – but I know Garth Brooks will go away from GhostTunes by then,” he said.
The presence of Brooks’ music gives Amazon’s fledgling service something its competitors at Spotify and Apple do not have, plus a level of control for the artist over how that music is presented. The new service is available for $7.99/month for Prime members, $9.99/month for non-Prime members or $3.99/month for listening on one Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap device. Amazon Music Unlimited will also serve as the official sponsor for Brooks’ tour, which gears up for expected international dates in 2017.