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Garth Brooks unveils beta launch of GhostTunes.com full-service music store

by Brandy McDonnell Modified: September 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm •  Published: September 4, 2014
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Garth Brooks speaks in a July press conference. AP file photo
Garth Brooks speaks in a July press conference. AP file photo

Longtime holdout Garth Brooks confirmed today that he is finally getting into digital music his way — and in a big way.

The Oklahoma country music megastar today unveiled the beta launch of GhostTunes.com – a full-service music store billed as giving fans the freedom to listen to the music they purchase on the platform and device of their choice, and giving artists a new way to sell their music any way they dream, according to a news release.

The site arrives with the digital distribution debut of Brooks’ complete catalog, a super bundle of the artist’s existing music and videos as well as the pre-order of his much anticipated 2014 album and newly announced 2015 album, once available, for “one crazy low price” of $29.99.

“When I decided it was time to ‘go digital’ I didn’t find an existing way that really fit how I wanted to do it,” said Brooks, an award-winning superstar and GhostTunes.com founder, in the release. “I shared my dream with some amazing minds and together have created something really special – GhostTunes.com. This is a site that treats music with the utmost respect, where our job everyday is to offer music the way the artists want to share it to the listeners who live for and love it. That’s a job I hope I can do everyday.”

As previously reported, the Tulsa native is kicking off his long-awaited comeback tour tonight in Chicago and appeared this morning on “Good Morning America” to promise a big announcement at a Windy City press conference before tonight’s show.

“We’re getting ready to change everything,” he told GMA anchor Robin Roberts. “Music history is about to change. … Get ready. This is gonna be awesome. There’s a new window is opening and digital music coming, and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

GhostTunes.com enables fans to listen to their music from their personal “locker” immediately upon purchase, without having to download the content to their device, according to the news release. Fans also will be able to download their purchased content to play with the audio player of their choice on a phone, tablet or computer. Just as it seemed fans would be left buying music in an increasingly more restrictive configuration without the ability to take the music they purchase anywhere they please, GhostTunes.com is billed as offering a new way.

For artists looking to present their music beyond the now-standard single and album download, GhostTunes.com is inviting creativity back into the way artists express themselves when introducing their music to their fans. Artists can choose to sell full albums, singles only, or however they’d like to extend the creative process they have in the studio to the final sale. The result of unprecedented collaborations between GhostTunes.com and artists of all genres will be debuting regularly on the site, including many with some of the world’s biggest artists between now and the holidays.

An unwillingness to allow his albums to be cherry-picked for individual tracks as often been cited as part of Brooks’ reason for staying off iTunes and other digital retailers.

The featured offering of GhostTunes.com will be the debut of Brooks’ music in a digital format. Showcasing the ability for artists to create their own innovative offerings, “Garth Goes Digital” with a mega bundle including all eight iconic studio albums digitally updated, the new double live 25th Anniversary Edition featuring 30 songs along with 30 videos, an instant download of his new single, “People Loving People” and the bonus track, “Send ’Em On Down The Road.”

Other songs from the Yukon-bred superstar’s upcoming album will automatically arrive in a user’s GhostTunes locker as they become available prior to the arrival of the complete digital album on Black Friday, as well as an additional 2015 Brooks album. The entire bundle of Brooks music today and pre-order of upcoming albums arriving later this year and next is available for a limited-time on GhostTunes.com for $29.99.

The release seems to confirm what Brooks said in a July press conference that streamed on garthbrooks.com that he had too much to say for just one album after more than a decade in semi-retirement. In 2001, Brooks retired from touring and recording, saying he wanted to devote himself to raising his three daughters. His youngest, Allie, graduated high school in May.

“I’m kind of all pent-up, if that’s the right word, because it’s been awhile since you’ve got to express yourself. So, the new record I think is going to be what we traditionally would know as a double album just because there’s a lot to say,” he said then. From this news release, it looks he will be doing separate albums in 2014 and 2015 instead.

“Anyone familiar with the music industry knows the passion Garth has for bridging the wants and needs of artists and fans – something that the entire team has used as a guiding principle in the creation of GhostTunes.com,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of GhostTunes, in the release. “Today is a great day for fans of music and those that create it, and just wait until you see what we have planed next – you won’t have to wait long.”

GhostTunes.com offers a catalog of a million songs and products, with music from some of the world’s biggest music labels, including the three largest: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. GhostTunes.com offers exclusive creative bundles and albums at a range of prices, along with singles available for 99 cents and $1.29, according to the release.

“People are going to mistake (it) for giving it away. But I’m not. There’s gonna be a window coming with this digital era for anyone who’s waited for Garth Brooks to go digital to get it all — and at a stupid price,” Brooks said back in July, adding he wanted to reward fans who have waited patiently for him to embrace the digital wave.

“It’s a pretty big step. It’s pretty scary. It’s a cool form, and when it’s used right, it can do wonders for the artist. And even better, it can do wonders for the songwriters. When you do it right, we’ll all succeed. So we will be doing our digital the best that we can, the only way that we know how, because we’re the only ones that kind of play our own way.”

GhostTunes.com (PRNewsFoto/GhostTunes.com)
GhostTunes.com (PRNewsFoto/GhostTunes.com)

About GhostTunes.com
GhostTunes.com LLC is a full-service online music store offering millions of songs and products from artists across all genres – creating a gathering place for listeners, artists and the music that connects them. Founded by Garth Brooks, one of the world’s best-selling artists of all times, GhostTunes.com celebrates the personal connection between artists and listeners who live for and love their music. The GhostTunes.com platform gives fans the freedom to listen to purchased music on the device of their choice while providing artists with a new way to sell their music any way they dream. For more information, go to www.ghosttunes.com.

-BAM

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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