Kid Rock has a hit without iTunes"All Summer Long" is one catchy tune. Built on the groove of the late Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," spiced up with Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," the song nonetheless soars on Robert James Ritchie's down-homey delivery of one of the best ballads to hit the airwaves in years. I've heard it on Top 40, country and classic rock stations in the past week. Kid Rock's album, Rock 'n Roll Jesus, is now at #2 on Billboard's chart. All this without iTunes. Why on earth would record labels withhold an album from America's largest music retailer?There's no one big reason. This WSJ report lists several:
  • ITunes, with few exceptions, requires that songs be made available separately. Some artists see their albums as one piece of work, and don't want them dismantled.
  • Their handlers believe they can make more by selling complete albums for $10 to $15 than by selling individual songs.
  • Apple isn't willing to sell songs for more than 99 cents. Most record labels see higher prices as critical to increasing revenue.
Classic rock band manager Irving Azoff says "I'm underwhelmed by the sales for the classic bands." A rough estimate by Eagles bandleader Glenn Frey found that their iTunes royalties to date "amounted to 39 minutes on stage in Kansas City." (Photo by AP/Carlos Osorio)