Target Tells Beyoncé to Go Stuff Her iTunes Exclusive…

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There’s been a lot of talk about how Beyoncé broke iTunes Store sales records – in just three days with no prior marketing, streaming or previews. Physical retailers will soon be receiving the self-titled album, but how do they fit into this digital success story?

Target has decided to not carry Beyoncé.

My how this relationship has changed: In 2011, Target carried an exclusive version of Beyoncé’s previous album, 4. Target’s version had six tracks not available anywhere else; Beyoncé also starred in Target commercials to promote the exclusive.

A spokesperson for the retailer explained to Billboard why Target will not be carrying the album:

…when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections… we are primarily focused on offering CDs that will be available in a physical format at the same time as all other formats.

Walmart will be carrying the new album, saying they are “happy to be able to carry her album and support all physical music”. The store only carries non-explicit versions of albums.


12 Responses

  1. Casey

    Makes sense. Beyonce basically flipped retailers the bird on this one by making the album release exclusive to iTunes. Target and Wal-Mart have really given quite a lot to the music industry in terms of promotion and retail space and to be left out of the release was a stab in the back. It will be much harder to move physical sales now and not worth the effort and benefits Target has traditionally given her for new album releases.

  2. Toy Needle

    Target shoppers are younger and don’t buy CDs. Have you seen the CD selection at Target? Walmart shoppers are grammas and grampas buying CDs for their grandkids who don’t own CD players.

  3. Anon

    You guys did not break this story as stated on Linkedin and Twitter, several people (eg Hypebot) published and tweeted before you.

  4. strip club for lunch

    well, there is no way this secret release could have happened if she/Columbia included a physical release at Target or any other retailer. The retailers would have needed to advertise the release to “alert” their customers of this “exclusive TARGET release” and even if they didn’t do any advertising, someone at Target or distribution would have leaked the information, if not the music.

    Target is upset because they feel they missed out on the lions share of the sales for this release.

    Beyonce won’t need Target for this release or any other release after demonstrating that her album doesn’t need to be streamed to sell or exclusive tracks added as a bonus for TARGET.

  5. Jimmy

    might actually help kill physical sales. I think it’s time! When these big box retailers sell cds for under $10 there is no real profits once you take into consideration the most to make and ship. What people to really understand is the amount of returns take place and who gets hit wit that bill. The best news of all this was the fact that her album was 100% album only. That is a huge step for iTunes!! I am curious to see how that all plays out for the “smaller” guys.

    • FarePlay

      Nothing is black & white. As a supporter of physical product and paid downloads, my first reaction, based on all the valuable messages being sent out Beyonce, was f….. Target, but after a bit of reflection I get their upset.

      After all, you can’t make a delicious omelet without breaking a few eggs.

  6. jon b

    when big box stores demand that they be able to sell a cd for $9.99, the wholesale is under $6. Manufacture, mechanicals and paying photog/art direction is more than a third of the $6 so……

  7. hippydog

    Wow.. talk about sour grapes…

    I’m willing to bet $10 this album WILL appear on Target’s shelves, unless they REALLY want Walmart to be the only place selling them.. any takers?

  8. jim

    oh how precious. what about all the exclusive target releases that stick it to the indie stores, and kill their opportunity for a level playing field? i guess that doesn’t “impact demands and sales projections…” such whiny suits… itunes did to them what they’ve been doing to other retailers for years.

  9. dhenn

    Target’s cd selection is a joke anyway. I think Ms. B will be fine.