As Tulsans ready to welcome home Garth Brooks, his music has finally become available digitally. Brooks had resisted digital platforms, but September 4th in Chicago he announced he was going digital by launching his own digital company – GhostTunes LLC which allows an artist to select how their songs or albums are sold – a control in presentation factor very important to Brooks and many other artists.
The third best-selling artist in the history of music; Garth Brooks insisted that he did not want to piecemeal his material out in individual songs, but sell his music digitally as entire albums. The album concept of message progression in presentation – a movement of music and meaning – is cherished by many in the industry. GhostTunes allows the artist this control.
Billboard writes, “Visually, the new site’s interface resembles a cross between Spotify and eMusic. The roll-out includes additional features like playlist creation, exclusive interviews, and a social sharing component. If artists choose, they can add mobile and credit card verification to their Ghost Tunes hub. The platform will also integrate direct links to ticket outlets, another hot-button issue for Brooks, who partnered with Ticketmaster in August to fight scalpers. Customers will also be able to stream their purchased songs from their iPhones, Androids, or desktop via a “consumer locker.”
According to Billboard, the most salient incentive for artists to put their music on Ghost Tunes is probably its 80/20 distribution deal (the company has licensing deals with Universal and Warner Music Groups, Sony Music, the Orchard, and several other content owners, with a “robust” independent section coming at the end of the year), which pays 80 percent as opposed to the traditional 70 percent of revenue back to artists and songwriters.
GhostTunes officials stress that they are not competing with services like iTunes’ Apple Store or Amazon’s digital mp3 store, they’re simply providing an alternative.
GhostTunes also touts the ability for artists to bundle music together in a manner not seen by major digital retailers, meaning if artist’s so choose, they can sell two albums, three albums, or their entire discography together at a discounted price. Maybe they take seven songs from seven different albums, and offer them as an EP. Offer a live DVD with two separate albums. They can also bundle digital albums with physical albums, or other merch like T-Shirts, stickers, etc.
For example, as a promotional deal from Garth Brooks and GhostTunes, Brooks is making his entire career’s work available for one price. Eight studio albums, a double live album and DVD, and two new digital albums not even released yet are being made available to the public digitally for $29.99. Compared to the sticker price of 12 albums from comparative digital retailers, that’s a steal of a deal. Click here to reach GhostTunes.