So as I was driving to school one day, they played the new AC/DC song, Rock and Roll Train, on 97.1 RQQ, and right before they announced that the band would not be making their new album, Black Ice, available on ITunes. Singer Brian Johnson said that he preferred that the album be listened to as a whole and that fans should not purchase single tracks to listen to individually.
Well, I'm not so sure about all this.
On the one hand, I can see where Johnson is coming from and I not necessarily saying that there isn't something to what he's saying. But ultimately, I think this is a sign that big bands have begun to forget that the fans are the customers. The fans are the guys who write your paycheck, and if they only want to buy one track off the album then that should be their right. Let's think of this in economic terms. If I go onto ITunes and download Rock and Roll Train, that's one dollar you've made off me that you wouldn't have made otherwise. But by refusing to put it on there, you've now lost that potential to make money. You've lost the dollar you would have made off me.
Doesn't sound like good business sense, does it? But if you think about it, apparently it is.
Now fans are forced to buy the entire album if all we want is Rock and Roll Train. So that's now somewhere between 11 and 18 dollars we have to pay just for that song. That doesn't mean that there might not be other good material on the album, but that isn't the point. If the customers only want one song, then they can pay their money to AC/DC and their record label, go home and listen to the song, and both sides are happy. Or at least they should be. And this whole Wal-Mart deal? Huh? Why deny all other retail outlets the chance to sell your CD? This doesn't make a lot of sense.
Well basically, I'm willing to acknowledge that technically the band does have the right to do what they want with their product, but if people don't like the way they do business then they don't have to buy it. As for me, I can say that this is 11 dollars that AC/DC won't be seeing from me. Honestly, I don't even like the song that much anway.