Country Music In the Digital Age, From Apps to Festivals

Garth Brooks remains one of country music’s biggest names, with 134 million albums sold worldwide, RIAA certification of his position as No. 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history and 25 No. 1 radio singles. And on July 10, 2014, Brooks announced he would be stepping into the digital era in his own way.

“We’ve never allowed our stuff to go digital. When you do it right, you can all succeed,” he said at a press conference. “We do digital the best we only know how. Digital will be handled at it will be the only place you can get Garth Brooks’ music.”

He still won’t make his music available for purchase on iTunes or Amazon, nor will it be streamable on services like Spotify or Rdio (although fans on Pandora can, in theory, run into him there from time to time). His official music videos are also not available to stream on Vevo or YouTube (his latest press conference was conducted via Vimeo).  In this regard, he’s held out longer than notorious classic rock hold-outs Led Zeppelin and the Beatles.

Brooks’ reluctancy to go digital all these years comes from his desire to not sell tracks individually, which was the same disagreement the Beatles had with iTunes. That Brooks’ music won’t be available there indicates that even on his website you will likely have to buy his full albums to get “Friends In Low Places.”


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