Beyoncé rocked the internet last weekend when she released her self-titled album in the iTunes Store as a total surprise. In exchange for launch exclusivity, Apple gave her the red carpet treatment in iTunes and iTunes Radio. The move was a smart one, as Beyoncé is the fastest selling album in iTunes history, moving an insane 828,773 units within the first three days of availability.
Target, another big music retailer that prides itself on exclusive deals with artists, isn’t too happy about Beyoncé’s decision to go the iTunes route.
It’s common for a certain retailer to get exclusive selling rights for an album, but usually only for a limited time. Other retailers like Walmart will be getting Beyoncé on December 20th, but not Target; it won’t be selling the album at all.
“At Target we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, and when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections,” a spokesperson told Billboard. “While there are many aspects that contribute to our approach and we have appreciated partnering with Beyonce in the past, we are primarily focused on offering CDs that will be available in a physical format at the same time as all other formats. At this time, Target will not be carrying Beyonce’s new self-titled album ‘Beyonce.'”
Target has worked with Beyoncé’s in the past, including her last studio album from 2011 in which she included some extra tracks in an extended edition exclusively for the retailer.
Big name artists like Justin Timberlake have been partnering with Apple for album launches more frequently, and it’s obviously rubbing traditional retailers the wrong way.