Home Digital Music Distribution: Weird Al and Kid Rock Take Different Paths

Digital Music Distribution: Weird Al and Kid Rock Take Different Paths

Earlier this week, parody musician Weird Al Yankovic announced that he would start releasing songs on iTunes right after he finishes them, bypassing the standard album model for a faster and more flexible approach. It looks like Yankovic made a deal with Apple, as iTunes will have exclusive rights to these new songs for the first two weeks. The first of these new songs will be available on October 7. Kid Rock, on the other hand, will now allow Rhapsody to carry his music, but does not allow a la carte downloading of his songs.

As consumers have started to bypass the traditional album model in favor of just buying single songs anyway, releasing songs as they are done would make sense for many musicians. Weird Al, of course, tends to write very topical and time-sensitive material, which makes his case a bit different, but the model could work for other musicians as well.

Kid Rock

Kid Rock, ono of the last hold-outs with regards to digital music distribution (and especially iTunes), has signed an exclusive deal with music service Rhapsody to distribute his albums. In contrast to Weird Al, however, Kid Rock insists that consumers can only download full albums and not just choose specific songs.

Are Both Missing the Point?

In some ways, it seems both musicians are missing the point of digital distribution. Weird Al does an exclusive deal with iTunes, even though he has a big enough name to either give his songs away for free or to sell them himself, and Kid Rock is trying to go against his own fans’ wishes by not allowing a la carte downloading. Then, of course, diamond-studded swimming pools don’t grow on trees either…

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