Estelle returns to iTunes, but loses sales

Well, it looks as if at least one music label’s anachronistic stab at making money through fake scarcity has fallen flat, flat, flat on its face – Estelle’s back on the iTunes Store in the US.

It’s no great surprise – and we wouldn’t be at all shocked if the UK r&b star’s management challenged label Atlantic’s decision to remove her music from iTunes, arguing that their artist lost sales as a result.

See, what happened is that Warner/Atlantic elected to withdraw her album, ‘Shine’ from iTunes US – and the immediate effect was to see the album plummet in the charts, from number 11 to number 37. Which is nothing to sing about (sorry), – though if I were the artist I’d think on suing the label for irresponsibly depressing sales.

Fact: Estelle’s album sold just 10,000 physical copies while her album was unavailable.

What’s behind the decision of course was some chimera-like vision which led label execs to believe that withdrawing music from iTunes would force people to buy the album on CD instead.

Seems the label briefly forgot about file-sharing, and ignored the fact that we now exist within a convenience culture, consumers shop where its easy and they get the best prices. Given that file-sharing is free, making consumers jump through hoops to acquire music by their favourite artists legally is never going to work, it’s bad for consumers, bad for artists, and shows why some execs should quit the business. Sorry and all.

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One thought on “Estelle returns to iTunes, but loses sales

  1. Dougee

    Hey Warner, what happened to your:

    “uniquely tailored to each artist and their fanbase in an effort to optimise revenues and promote long-term artist development”?

    I guess the short and medium terms development were missed out – hence the swift climbdown.

    Hopefully someone was made to pay for this decision..

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