Billboard reports that Apple is not happy with labels working with Amazon to promote new releases.
In exchange for a Daily Deal promotion on a new album, Amazon has been asking labels to provide it with a one-day exclusive before street date and such digital marketing support as a banner ad on an artist’s MySpace page and messages on label and artist Web sites and social network feeds.
“When that happened,” the executive says, “iTunes said, ‘Enough of that shit.’ “
I question how this is a good idea. I’ve found myself delaying purchases of new albums simply because there’s a possibility that it may appear on Amazon’s Daily Deal. Amazon has been quick to cut prices on specific albums, even providing a selection of albums available for $5. To me this seems like a dangerous game and only teaches the marketplace that the value of digital music is less than $9.99.
One of the few albums to participate in an early-street-date Daily Deal promotion so far this year is Vampire Weekend’s “Contra,” which Amazon made available for $3.99 Jan. 11, a day before it was available anywhere else. The promotion played an obvious role in powering the album’s No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200, with first-week U.S. sales of 124,000, of which 60% were digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.