Garth Brooks Set to Return... With A New Album and His Own Digital Music Store!
After a thirteen year hiatus, one of country music’s top earning performers is finally coming back, and he’s doing it on his own terms.
This may come as a surprise to some, but Garth Brooks is actually the third best-selling act in American history, and the second best-selling solo artist. He sits right behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
As of now, Elvis is only beating Garth in cumulative career record sales by less than one million albums, so with a new album out now, it might not be long before we see a change in the ranks.
Brooks’ ninth album Man Against Machine, was released this past Tuesday (November 11th) and is so far off to a solid start. While country music has changed quite a bit since he left the spotlight over a decade ago, and there are plenty of new stars that have filled the enormous void he left in record stores and on the radio, Garth is still adored by many, and though the album isn’t likely to best either Taylor Swift or Foo Fighters on next week’s Billboard 200, it will easily make the top ten, adding at least 100,000 copies to Garth’s already-impressive sales count.
While Garth is still recording and Elvis is, well, obviously not, the country star’s unorthodox methods when it comes to releasing music might keep him from topping the King. Throughout his career, he has vehemently opposed iTunes, refusing to allow his music on the site, as he insists on only selling his albums in their entirety, which iTunes won’t allow on a long-running basis (they have made exceptions for short periods of time, such as when Beyoncé released her surprise album, which was only available as a full album for the first week or so).
Instead, Garth is forging his own path, helping to co-found his own online music store, Ghost Tunes. The site launched in September, but the official push is centered around the new album, which is sure to raise the company’s profile quite a bit. In fact, Ghost Tunes (which gets its name from the fact that Garth, or “G” as his friends call him is “hosting” it) carried an exclusive pre-order of Man Against Machine that came with an immediate download of his newest single “People Loving People”.
The site is also sure to bring in plenty of new users with a special deal Garth is offering: his entire back catalog, as well as live material, for only $29.99. Garth’s wife Trisha Yearwood is also doing her part, releasing her new album PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit exclusively on Ghost Tunes later this month.
Despite big names like Garth and Trisha attaching their respectable clout to the new service, Ghost Tunes isn’t only a country music site. The company has deals with all of the major labels and quite a few indie ones, which has allowed their storefront to swell to over 10 million items. Artists can run their own shops on the site, selling music, t-shirts, and even linking to ticket sellers. In addition, the site allows artists to price their music as they wish, and offer it in what form they want. If someone wants to sell a bundle of everything they’ve ever done for $1, Ghost Tunes is fine with that.
The company isn’t looking to overtake iTunes or Amazon as the primary online destination for music, but rather serve as another option, especially for artists looking to sell their wares as they want and get paid a decent wage (Ghost Tunes splits revenue with the artists 80/20, as opposed to the industry standard 70/30).
“We know we’re the smallest ant on this anthill” said Randy Bernard, CEO of Ghost Tunes. “We wanted to make sure there was an alternative that existed.”