Apple’s insistence that bands must make all their albums available on a trac-by-track basis continues to splinter support within the music industry, with legendary rock band, AC/DC, explaining their long-standing boycott of the service is all about the album format.
AC/DC frontman Angus Young, whose band refuse to make their songs available on iTunes, said the move is simply because they don’t want fans simply downloading a few tracks from albums.
“We don’t make singles, we make albums,” he told the Telegraph. “We believe the songs on any of our albums belong together. If we were on iTunes, we know a certain percentage of people would only download two or three songs from the album. We don’t think that represents us musically.”
Young added that despite pressure from industry figures to make AC/DC’s songs available on iTunes, he didn’t believe that being part of the site was crucial to success.
“Since iTunes came into existence, we’ve actually increased our back catalogue sales without being on the site,” he said. “We were sternly warned by our management team and our record label that the complete opposite would be the case.”
AC/DC will release their new album, ‘Black Ice’, on October 20 – but not through iTunes.
The wide reporting of the band’s decision reflects some forces internally within the music industry who appear to want to see Apple’s control of music distribution bought to heel.
This week, BPI chief Geoff Taylor even went so far as to slate iTunes for refusing to make its music interoperate with other DRM types. When asked to explain the hypocrisy of that position, given some of his members are precisely the labels that won’t license their music DRM-free (interoperability guaranteed) through iTunes, he backtracked slightly and said Apple needs to work it out with individual labels.
Taylor also argued that the number of times a track could be transferred to new devices, such as iPods, should be limited, and while arguing that music purchased should permanently belong to purchasers, he did say “but technology changes all the time – you need to pay for the shift.”
So you can kind of see what his members have in mind.