Garth Brooks’ New Amazon Streaming Deal Means Departure From GhostTunes
For the first time ever, fans will be able to digitally stream Garth Brooks' music. The singer has partnered with Amazon to stream his entire catalog.
At first, those who subscribe to Amazon’s new Amazon Unlimited streaming service will only be able to listen to The Ultimate Hits, Double Live and Brooks' new single, “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance.” His upcoming studio and Christmas album will be made available, but not immediately. Brooks tells Billboard that the reason he’s releasing his catalog piecemeal is due to a previous agreement with Target to release a 10-disc box set on Nov. 11, and because he wants to continue to protect songwriters.
Eventually, these albums will be available for digital download in their entirety at Amazon, as well. That’s not entirely new, as fans could get them through GhostTunes, but it’s a step forward, as the singer is now partnering with a recognizable and trusted brand. In the past he’s refused to team with Apple because they insist on allowing fans to download individual songs. Brooks will continue to prevent that through this new deal with Amazon.
During his interview with Billboard, he also touched on the fate of GhostTunes, a digital music retailer he started in 2014. There are some commitments they need to fulfill (such as his partnership with Fritos), he says, but after that, the future of the service is unclear at best.
“Whether GhostTunes goes away or not, I don’t know,” he says, “but I know Garth Brooks will go away from GhostTunes by then.”
Brooks is the last superstar artist to team with a digital music streaming outlet. He says he had conversations with Spotify and Apple Music, but Spotify doesn’t have a retail mechanism and Apple has rules about selling songs individually. The deal with Amazon is not a longterm deal, “so it kind of allows you to enter as a partnership, look at each other quickly and go, ‘Hey, do we want to continue this or not?’”
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