R&B diva Beyonce has hit back at retailer Target‘s decision not to stock physical copies of her recently released self-titled album — an action mirrored by online retailer Amazon — following the singer’s decision to secretly release the album exclusively through iTunes earlier this month.
“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,” said a Target representative in defence of the decision, as reported by The Age.
Meanwhile online retailing giant Amazon is offering the MP3 version only for US$16, close to what is being charged by retailers for the hardcopy. The site is also offering individual tracks priced at $1.29 each, with Drunk In Love, the singer’s collaboration with husband Jay-Z, the most popular.
In an Oprah’s Favourite Things-like response to the snub, Beyonce headed to an outlet of arch Target rival Walmart located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, on Friday night to personally hand out gift cards valued at US$50 to 750 customers, as well as meeting and greeting with fans.
The self-titled “visual” album was released exclusively through one of Amazon and Target’s biggest competitors for music sales, becoming the fastest selling album to be released though iTunes. Now certified as platinum in the US, the album moved 828,773 copies on its opening weekend.
According to Billboard, iTunes currently owns 41 percent of the US retail music market, while Amazon and Target own a combined share of 14 percent. However, despite these figures, physical albums still account for more music sales than services offering downloadable music.
(Via The Age)
Watch: Beyonce at Tewksbury Walmart