Garth NOT on iTunes

Young Garth BrooksGarth Brooks is a well-known country music artist. It is very hard to find a person that has never heard of him or one of his songs, which is one of the reasons my group decided to choose a song of his for our music video project. He was an artist we all were familiar with. With that said, we all were very shocked to find Garth Brooks was nowhere to be found on iTunes. We searched and searched, but found nothing. We had to result in using a live recording from YouTube for our music in the video. This made me wonder how his fans would be able to listen to his work, surely no one was buying CD’s anymore. The answer I found was: Ghost Tunes.

Ghost Tunes is an online music store established by Garth Brooks himself. It launched in September 2014, and features singles and albums from a variety of artists, including Brooks.Garth Brooks Ghost Tunes The name “Ghost Tunes” is said to have derived from founder Brooks’ first name, Garth, and his “hosting” of the site (“G-host”). Ghost Tunes varies from other online music stores, such as iTunes, by allowing the individual labels to choose their selling format and prices. This was a result of Brooks’ resentment to digital music industries, such as iTunes, YouTube, and Spotify. Brooks said himself: “People get millions and millions and millions and millions of views, and they don’t get squat. Trust me. Songwriters are hurting.

However, as of 2013 Brooks’ recordings were continually selling very well. According to Nielsen Soundscan, his albums sales up to May 2013 were 68,630,000. Which makes him the best-selling albums artist in the United States in the SoundScan era, a title held since 1991, well over of his nearest rival, The Beatles. According to RIAA, Brooks is the second best-selling solo albums artist in the United States of all time, ahead of Elvis Presley. Which makes it hard for me to believe that money was his true issue with the industry. He is loaded with money and still was not satisfied with the portion he received from sales.

Garth PlayingThankfully, Brooks had an answer for my puzzlement. Music is what all of this was about for him. “Music wins,” Brooks had said. “This is my gift to music. That’s all I want.” That’s when Randy Bernard, CEO of Ghost Tunes, knew “it wasn’t about making a profit for Garth,” he told Billboard. It was about putting out a great product and working with artists and fans. “We want[ed] to make sure we unlocked the music and gave it to the consumer, not to the device,” said Chris Webb, COO of Ghost Tunes. “Ghost Tunes is about freedom.”

Do you think Garth’s decision was smart? Have you ever heard of Ghost Tunes? Would you be willing to buy your music from anything other than iTunes?


Filed under New Country

3 Responses to Garth NOT on iTunes

  1. Marissa Gallardo

    I had never realized that Garth never had any of his music; this is probably because the majority of the music I have of his is on CDs and albums. I have never heard of Ghost Tunes, but it is quite an interesting idea. I am not sure it was a good idea though. Most of his fans and people searching for his music would probably go to itunes or one of the more popular music sites first. Then when they are unable to find his music, they would either give up looking or have to dig a little deeper to find Ghost Tunes. I personally have not purchased music in a long time. If I have music that I like, I usually look it up on Spotify, Pandora or YouTube and often I am not intrigued enough to buy the song. I am not sure that I would buy music from Ghost Tunes, but I would definitely like to learn more!

  2. Abby Wills

    I’m really glad you wrote about this. I was actually on Spotify the other day and looked up Garth to listen to a few of his songs but soon realized they aren’t available on Spotify. However, I didn’t do any further research because I just assumed they were only on iTunes. I find it very interesting that you can only buy his music from Ghost Tunes. I think it is very fascinating for Brooks to take this approach. He obviously still finds much success and it is comforting to know that it is all about the music, the product, and working with artists and fans. I think as we see more time pass with Brooks music on Ghost Tunes then we will know if it was a good idea. He is a very iconic country star and I think his fans would buy his music from any platform. I had never heard of Ghost Tunes before but I’m very curious about the whole concept. Normally these days I just get my music from Spotify, but I would possibly be open to buying his music on Ghost Tunes.

  3. Keaton Schlueter

    I was just as surprised as you to find out that none of Garth’s music was on iTunes. This never really crossed my mind because I am one of those rare people who still buys CDs, and I have all of his music on CD, so I never really had to worry about downloading it off of iTunes. But I think that Garth’s decision was smart, even though I’ve never heard of Ghost Tunes until today. It’s nice to know that he still cares about the music and all the hard work that goes into making songs and albums. I haven’t really bought any music online in a long time, but I’m not opposed to it, and if the only place I could get music by an artist I like was somewhere other than iTunes, then I would have no problem buying it from there.

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