Billboard reports that as digital music sales continue their decline, Apple is pressuring record label executives for more exclusive album releases, ala Beyoncé’s iTunes-exclusive album last December.
Billboard, via MacRumors:
Apple Inc.’s music chief Robert Kondrk has been pressuring major labels for releases similar to last year’s Beyonce exclusive, excluding services like YouTube and Spotify to help shore up slowing download sales, according to music executives familiar with the conversations.
Beyoncé’s album sold 1 million copies globally on iTunes in the space of a week. This was in the face of falling digital music track sales, which fell from 1.34 billion units to 1.24 billion units in 2013.
Kondrk is said to be using the success of the album to push the prospect of getting more exclusive release albums on services such as iTunes. He’s telling the label suits that the exclusives would not have to be limited to the iTunes service, as long as they weren’t available on streaming services such as Spotify or YouTube. Those services are thought to be partially responsible for the drop in digital music downloads.
Kondrk is also said to have asked for the permission to lock down individual track sales until after a set period of time.
It was reported in January that digital music sales had declined year-over-year for the first time since the opening of the iTunes Music Store. Streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple’s own iTunes Radio are believed to have contributed to the decline.