Warner Music Group may keep some music from some artists back from the iTunes Store, and appears to be playing hardball, suggesting it may withdraw permission for inclusion of some of its catalogue within smash-hit console games, Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
Rolling Stone reports the success of Kid Rock’s ‘Rock N Roll Jesus’ album, which has spawned a smash hit single, ‘All Summer Long’, and isn’t available on iTunes or through any other digital music service. Despite not being available in digital form from services like iTunes, the album has already sold 1.3 million copies.
“It’s definitely interesting that he’s the only artist that’s not available on iTunes with a monster hit right now, and we’re seeing that kind of a growth,” Livia Tortella, general manager of Atlantic told Rolling Stone.
US musician Kid Rock has gone public on why he won’t sell his albums through iTunes, arguing that while Apple and the labels get paid, but the artists don’t.
Explaining his position, the musician said: “Back in the day, we all know the stories of the Otis Reddings and Chuck Berrys and Fats Dominos who never got paid.
“So the internet was an opportunity for everyone to be treated fairly, for the consumer to get a fair price, for the artist to be paid fairly, for the record companies to make some money.”
But they stuck to the “old system”, he continued.
Asked by his major label a few years ago to make a stand against music downloads he replied: “Wait a second. You’ve been stealing from the artists for years. Now you want me to stand up for you?” and refused the request, instead telling fans to download his music illegally. He’s not so worried about downloading, it seems, arguing, “I think we should level the playing field. I don’t mind people stealing my music, that’s fine. But I think they should steal everything. You know how much money the oil companies have? If you need some gas, just go fill your tank off and drive off, they’re not going to miss it.”
Kid Rock’s last album Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus reached number one in the US, despite not being available on iTunes. The artist concedes he will be on iTunes “eventually”.