Rolling Stone reports that METALLICA and LINKIN PARK are among the artists that are refusing to make their songs available for download via online music services such as Apple's recently launched iMusic Store.
The bands and their managers claim that their concerns are artistic, not monetary. "Certain songs might not fit on radio for one reason or another but are just as important an artistic statement," said Marc Reiter of Q-Prime, the management company that handles METALLICA. "We refuse to kowtow to the fact that it's a singles market for downloads."
A source at Apple told the magazine that iTunes won't accommodate artists such as METALLICA and LINKIN PARK because their requests go against consumer demand. "People want individual songs," said the source. "And we want to be consistent. We respect these artists' points of view, but we want every song available as singles."
The online services, whose success depends on their ability to offer as much music as possible, insist that artists who refuse to offer singles are contributing to the very problem they complained about during the days of Napster. "If you fail to make songs available legally, you're basically telling people to go ahead and download it illegally," said Matt Graves, spokesman for Listen.com, the company behind the Rhapsody subscription service. "You're shooting yourself in the foot."