updated 02:45 pm EST, Thu November 8, 2007
Jay-Z bans songs on iTunes
Hip hop star Jay-Z has banned his latest album from Apple's iTunes Store, saying that wants the "work of art" to be enjoyed in its entirety. The album, titled American Gangster and serving as the 'imaginary soundtrack' for the film of the same name, is not to be offered as individual tracks via iTunes as is customary of most works sold via Apple's digital storefront, according to WCCO.com. The decision comes after rock band Radiohead chose to sell their works only as complete albums.
British direct download service 7Digital predicts that the key to selling entire albums lies in the absence of digital rights management, or DRM for short. DRM technology protects digital media, preventing users from illegally copying or playing the content. Apple's iTunes Store still dominates digital media sales, and many industry experts cite individual track purchases as an important reason for the company's success.
The recent introduction of unprotected MP3 versions of songs that play without restrictions has encouraged users to purchase more music than they have in the past, including full albums. Some 80 percent of tracks purchased through 7Digital's store are now DRM-free, with 70 percent of those sales consisting of full albums rather than individual songs, according to Electronista.