Yearly CD purchases have decreased steadily over the last decade, due in part to internet piracy. Music piracy is now so rampant, albums are leaking online long before their official release dates, ultimately affecting sales. Jay-z & Kanye West’s collaborative record, “Watch the Throne,” successfully hit the market on the planned date of August 8th without any mishaps, however. How did they avoid the leak? Well, according to RollingStone Magazine, having an exclusive release deal with ITunes and department store Best Buy was the key. Industry insiders have concluded that leaks tend to happen because copies of the finished product are stolen from manufacturing plants during shipping. “Throne” was released on Itunes August 8th and will be available at Best Buy on August 12th. By making the album initially available on Itunes only, no shipping is involved. If sales improve as result of this type of release plan, record labels are likely to mass implement it. While this plan seems like a dream come true for the industry, some fans and independent retailers oppose the design. Fans are concerned they may not be able to purchase physical copies if a specific store isn’t available to them and independent retailers won’t be able to sell and profit from anticipated albums. As a consumer, what do you think of exclusive release deals?
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