Rolling Stone reports that AC/DC will be following the path of several other artists by selling their new album exclusively through Wal-Mart this fall. By foregoing a deal with a record label, and instead going directly through a retailer, AC/DC and others are able to sell their albums to customers for $15, about $5 less than the price of most newly released albums.
I won’t be shedding any tears for the neglected record labels. I actually like the idea of this. I just hope Wal-Mart won’t be the only retailer to take this direct-to-shelves approach to cd sales. I don’t really like the idea of being forced to give a corporation like Wal-Mart my money in order to get access to music I want. But in truth, I think a good number of the artists I like would never get in bed with Wal-Mart, making it impossible for me to ever benefit from these lower prices, anyway… On the whole, the idea that one retailer will have exclusive rights to sell a product doesn’t really bother me, if it means lower prices. As it is, with cd prices so high, I already feel like I’m cornered into buying mp3s through iTunes, and not everyone has an mp3 player or a computer. Deals like this might mean people who couldn’t get access to the music otherwise can now afford it.