iTunes Vultures Over the Corpse of Robin Williams…

Just hours after the world learned of Robin Williams’ suicide…

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24 Responses

  1. maxwell

    Capitalizing on suicide – inevitable but still disgusting. Staying thematic on DMN this week, Amanda Palmer’s doing it too. She got herself on BBC News tonight talking about Robin Wiliams even though she never met him and isn’t an actor. She twittered about his death though. I hate humanity.

    • Paul Lanning

      Disgusting. In my 30 years as Capitol-EMI sales rep we never once advertised the product of an artist who had died. We ramped up the stock, but NEVER ran ads.

  2. Me

    You guys sound surprised. This happens w/ EVERY major artist who dies.

  3. Bruce Burbank

    I dunno. I don’t see it this way. It would be vulturing over his suicide if they raised prices on any of his material available in the itunes store. If the prices are the same now as they were before his death, I see this as pretty much the best way to pay tribute to him- promote his works that so many people have enjoyed in the past with the hopes that more people will enjoy them (and yes, make a buck or two in the process, because after all, they are running a business).

    I mean, what would you have them do? Not recognize his death at all? Keep all his movies and recordings buried in the catalog where they always are?

    Perhaps they (itunes and Sony) learned their lesson after trying to capitalize off Whitney Houston’s death by raising prices on some of her releases immediately after her death.

    • V

      I have to agree. “Vulturing” is exorbitant pricing on necessities during a time of crises. As sad as I am over Williams’ death, it is not a crisis. It is a sad event in which folks may need to mourn the loss of a person who touched most peoples lives in one way or another.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        OK, I can see those perspectives. Actually, I have no idea on any price changes (I wasn’t checking before).

        But take a look at Amazon. They are selling Robin Williams DVDs like crazy (just look at the auto-generated rankings), but they aren’t putting up a big sign. Just saying.

        • Igor

          this is so not news, people are binging on RW stuff, if iTunes didn’t acknowledge his passing away people would complain about that. yes, please go back to music news and not sensationalist crud

          • Jeremy

            I agree. This is standard iTunes practice. They did it with Whitney, they did it with Amy Winehouse, and with countless other major artists/performers.

          • Paul Resnikoff

            I’m not sure that’s the best defense logic. So as long as Apple has a long history of doing this, then the latest episode must be okay?

  4. rob_jewitt

    I’m not sure this is a ‘bad taste’ issue as is implied. Many of my friends wanted to binge watch some of their childhood favourite RW films after hearing this news. This just made it easier for them to find them. As Bruce says above, its not like they started raising prices to capitalise.

    I noticed a few film community sites compiling lists of his movies to ‘celebrate’ his life. Not to mention the amount of news sites running stories about RW in an attempt to ‘connect with their audience’. Not cynical at all…

    • Fo freaking real

      Seriously! Isn’t this site called Digital Music News? I am really getting close to unsubscribing to this thing if Paul doesn’t lay off the clickbait BS non-music related stuff. Every media outlet on the planet is “vulturing” over Robin Williams’ unfortunate passing, but most of them have the self-awareness not to point fingers at each other for doing it. Shameful.

      • stephen craig+aristei

        You are right ! Page views rule…not the news !

    • adam

      Couldn’t agree more. I used to actually read this rag until it became all about lists, linkbait, and self promotion. No real news reporting of any kind.

  5. JTVDigital

    Usually these initiatives come from the rights owners

  6. Willis

    This shouldn’t be any surprise. Nobody of note can die in peace. Heck, look at the swarm who needed to know the method of suicide. It’s disgusting.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Of course everyone wanted to know. It’s human nature. And please don’t tell me you didn’t pay attention when the details came out, ‘to protect the privacy of friends and relatives’.

  7. stephen craigaristei

    Though I did not know Robin, our paths crossed from time to time…..I hope they “hawk the shit” out of all his stuff…..And give all those “mothers” a last Hurrah ! I recently heard that he worked as often as he did because “he had to” work in order to pay all the bills…Not that he lived “high on the hog”, but as a result of 3 divorces ! Sad, but true ! Such a great talent and everyone’s divorce lawyer had to get their piece ( I am sure he paid all of their legal bills in the settlements!).

    What I am most sad about is that poor Lauren Bacall, was upstaged by a man again….Even in death !

  8. Zog

    Paul Your starting to sound like page 6 to get attention.This man was a huge talent that many folks young and old may not be familiar with his large body of work . Itunes, Amazon are just doing what they do , vultures no, they wouldn’t win either way in the public eye on this one if you or any one is offended then don’t purchase .

  9. wallow-T

    C’mon, Paul, this is Marketing 101. If we still had video stores, there would be displays of Robin Williams films and Mork & Mindy boxed sets at the front of the store. And if the customers didn’t want the product at this time, retailers wouldn’t do it. I’ve bought the occasional CD over the years after someone dies; I started rooting around in the Doors catalog after Ray Manzarek passed on last year.

    Paul Williams satirized the rush to cash in on a dead artist in the first song in the movie “Phantom of the Paradise,” back in 1974.

  10. Anonymous

    While it’s a smart move because of profit, I don’t see this as a bad thing. I’d say I’m a more compassionate person than most. I doubt the company sits and happily generates this page and feels great publishing it. But they do because it’s logical and they know people are going to revisit his movies in mass migration. This is honoring him and making it easy for others to do so. And when it comes to profit, I’m sure money’s getting to the mourning family as a result of people going and watching his films. I’m sure that’ll will comfort them. Even if just a little, it’s something. So, I don’t think iTunes is a company full of insensitive jerks. I’m sure they weighed all I’ve said and it outweighs the perception that they may be judged as disrespectful. Logically, it’s a good business move. Ethically, it’s fine because they aren’t raising prices, just making it easily accessible to consumers. Emotionally, it brings comfort to those upset about the great loss, a comfort to those mourning and close to him (psychologically and financially).