As fans know, Target may have been a huge celebrator of pop superstar Beyonce‘s ‘4’ album, but it’s self titled follow-up cannot boast the same. In a well-publicized decision, the huge retailer opted against carrying the singer’s 5th album citing unfair ‘preferential treatment’ to Itunes (which exclusively carried the digital version of the album upon its December 13th surprised release).
Now, in another blow to the album, the largest online retailer Amazon has also joined the boycott against Columbia and Sony by refusing to carry the physical copy of the album on its online shelves.
“While Amazon.com is carrying the MP3 version of the album, the online merchant is apparently not stocking the CD version of the album, according to label sources and a check of the site. The album is available, however, via third-party sellers in the Amazon marketplace.
Moreover, while Amazon is carrying the Beyonce MP3 in its store, it does not appear to be supporting the album with any prime real estate. The only way the album is visible if shoppers search for it and will see that the album is there digitally for $15.99.”
“Meanwhile, in addition to being annoyed at the Beyonce exclusive, Amazon is reportedly still steaming that Sony Music Entertainment handed down an edict that Amazon, or any other retailer for that matter, couldn’t pre-sell the Beyonce title.”
So what does this mean?
The news does follow reports that Beyonce, on Itunes’ shoulders alone, passed the 1 million mark in digital sales in less than 7 days. So, in the now, the news carries less sting.
But, as Amazon is indeed the world’s largest online retailer, it withholding of physical copies of any album – even one of Beyonce’s caliber – will definitely cause a stain on the album’s immediate (see: Christmas sales) and long term success. Again, Amazon’s gripe is not with Beyonce as much as it is with Columbia/Sony. So, if Amazon continues this behavior with less profitable Columbia/Sony acts, we can be sure a swift agreement will be made to rectify the situation.
Either way, many brick-and-mortar stores have still stocked their shelves with physical copies of the album. Amazon cardholders or just fans of the online shopping experience with the retail giant can still opt to purchase it via Amazon’s website from third-party retailers.