Target Won’t Sell New Beyoncé Album Because iTunes Had It First

Queen B, Apple, and Target do not all see eye to eye.

Queen B, Apple, and Target do not all see eye to eye.

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.

  • aardman

    Read somewhere that iTunes takes 41% of music sales and Target 5%. It’s time for a “live with the giant next door strategy”, not confrontation, at Target. Like Finland did with respect to the USSR after WW2. Because the threat of refusing to sell the CD at Target if you go exclusive debut with iTunes doesn’t scare anyone. Maybe, except Target stockholders.

  • norb

    Look what you’ve made us do Beyonce! You like seeing us punch ourselves in the face? Yeah you do… YOU DID THIS TO US!

  • lockelinus

    It’s hard to believe that after so many examples of the internet/digital model killing the bricks and mortar/physical one, over the past 15-20 years, a company as big as Target doesn’t have executives that get it.

  • RyanTV

    I’m pretty sure Beyonce will be just fine without Target’s support. She already has 500 million reasons to not give a fuck.

  • trex67

    Does Target honestly believe that musicians/labels can’t figure this out, that iTunes has a huge customer base that no brick and mortar can compete with? All they’re managing to do is piss of potential customers, a terrific business plan. Congrats.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , |