The Wall Street Journal reports today on the bizarre growing phenomenon of artists and record companies refusing to do business with Apple's iTunes based on the theory that making single songs available for download hurts the more profitable business of selling complete albums. The dubious evidence? Kid Rock's 2007 record Rock N Roll Jesus, which was never released on iTunes, has sold 1.7 million physical copies. Utterly convinced by this obviously perfect correlation, Atlantic Records last week pulled Estelle's album Shine from the store, just as her awesome single "American Boy" was entering the iTunes Top 10.
With the easy availability of both of these albums (and pretty much every other album that's ever been recorded) on blogs and BitTorrent sites, the chasm between consumers deciding to pay $0.99 for a single track on the Internet and $10 for an album at a store (whatever that is) is huge and growing. Isn't pulling an album from iTunes just a great way to push people to piracy and forfeit a bunch of perfectly good free money? It would certainly seem that way to us, but we guess that's why we're not record executives.