Beyoncé’s decision to release her new album exclusively through iTunes undoubtedly helped prevent early leaks and led to a million-plus in sales. However, several competing retailers alienated by iTunes’s preferential treatment are now refusing to stock the CD version of the album.
As Billboard reports, Amazon.com has joined Target in refusing to sell CD copies of Beyoncé’s self-titled fifth album. Amazon is selling digital versions of the album, however, it’s not being prominently promoted on Amazon’s website. As Billboard notes, “The only way the album is visible if shoppers search for it and will see that the album is there digitally for $15.99.”
Target — which is selling neither the physical or digital version in the album — said Beyoncé’s partnership with iTunes impacts demand and sales projections. The company said in a statement, “While there are many aspects that contribute to our approach and we have appreciated partnering with Beyoncé in the past, we are primarily focused on offering CDs that will be available in a physical format at the same time as all other formats. At this time, Target will not be carrying Beyonce’s new self-titled album ‘Beyonce.’”
Despite Amazon and Target’s boycott, Beyoncé’s record label Columbia has already shipped 500,000 copies of the album to retailers around the country, according to Billboard. Walmart is among the stores that are selling the album, and Beyoncé expressed her appreciation by appearing at a Walmart in Tewksbury, Massachusetts on Friday night. While there, she handed out $50 gift certificates to store customers.