Kid Rock Rides With iTunes

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(from Billboard Magazine, November 12, 2012) For the last ten years or so, the list of artists who are not on iTunes has grown smaller and smaller. This fall, one of the last names will be crossed off the list: Kid Rock. Kid Rock has managed to keep his music off iTunes for almost a decade. Now, with his ninth album “Rebel Soul,” being released on November 19, Kid Rock and his team have decided to give into the power of iTunes.

Kid Rock’s reasoning for not using the leading median for record sales was simple. He said, “I still don’t believe that all pieces of music are the same price. I just don’t think that’s American.” With this mentality, what caused the sudden change to finally use iTunes? When Kid Rock released his last album, Born Free, in 2010, online downloads were at 28% for all album sales that year. Now, in 2012, 39% of all album sales are online. This is a hard statistic to walk away from.

Not only will this give Kid Rock a chunk of sales that they did not have before, it will also help his team better determine what songs are grabbing attention and are radio worthy. This will be the first time Atlantic Records will be able to get a detailed consumer response of individual tracks.

Kid Rock made it clear that he is not “selling out,” but rather catering to his fan base. Though this goes against what Kid Rock has stood behind for many years, hopefully it turns out to be a positive success for him. When Atlantic Chairman, Julie Greenwald was asked about releasing Kid Rock’s back catalog of records, she responded with, “I don’t think we’re there yet.” Only time can tell how this will work out, iTunes has already started advertising the album release on their home page, but preorder results have not been released.