Garth Brooks Is Officially Closing GhostTunes
Brooks has been a longtime opponent of digital music services, but of course, fighting the digital age is like Lady Gaga fighting a grizzly bear in her meat costume — we all know who’s going to win. In 2014 he created GhostTunes to have control over how his music — and other artists’ songs — were distributed digitally. However, that experiment is over as Brooks recently allowed his music to be absorbed by Amazon Music Unlimited, allowing his albums to be purchased and streamed digitally.
Amazon Music Unlimited is the first digital service, other than GhostTunes, to offer Brooks’ music for digital download, and the only service to ever offer Brooks’ entire catalog on a streaming platform. Brooks helped launch Amazon Music Unlimited in 2016, and it's yet to be determined if the service can compete with Spotify, Apple Music and other established streaming platforms.
“This is a landmark moment for both Amazon Music and Garth Brooks,” says Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in a statement. “Garth Brooks is a legendary country music superstar who continues to shatter industry records and amaze fans three decades into his career. We are honored to make his music available for streaming for the first time ever, exclusively on Amazon Music.”
MusicRow reports GhostTunes users will have until March 3 to transfer all of their music to Amazon Music Unlimited at no charge. However, those users will need to subscribe to the service in order to continue to access that music once it's been transferred.
Brooks' World Tour, which is in its third year, also boasts Amazon Music Unlimited as the official sponsor. However, though everything appears smooth at the moment, Brooks tells Billboard the Amazon venture is not necessarily a permanent deal.
"These terms of these deals aren’t very long," he says. "Everything is going to keep changing. I think one of the reasons I really, really liked this deal is it’s 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.' That’s a sweet, sweet option to have. These people are like, 'Hey, you’re going to be with us for this amount of time. We think you’re going to love us more at the end of that time than you do now.' That’s the kind of company I want to work with."
Brooks released his latest album, Gunslinger, on Nov. 25, 2016, and will perform his first 2017 World Tour dates at the end of January at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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