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Beyoncé CD Rollout Has Major Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Miffed

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Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Retailers are expected to begin selling Beyoncé’s new CD this weekend, but Target has decided not to stock it.

Call it retribution for Beyoncé’s decision to first go directly to her fans through Apple’s online store, iTunes.

The move is being hailed as a stroke of marketing genius: Beyoncé releasing 14 songs and 17 videos last Friday, with no promotion.  Sales on iTunes sales have been soaring ever since.

But Target isn’t applauding. A spokesman for the big box retailer tells Billboard, the music industry newspaper, that when a new album is available digitally before it is available in stores, it affects demand and sales projections.

This begs the question: are CDs becoming obsolete?  A quick peek into retail store FYE, at Broad and Chestnut Streets in center city, saw little foot traffic around the bins.

“I don’t like CDs anymore, ’cause sometimes I don’t like all the songs on the CD,” said one woman.  “So I just purchase the singles, whatever song I like.  That’s what I do.”

“I will get Beyoncé’s CD when it comes out because I am a big fan,” said another, “so I don’t see anything wrong with her doing the iTunes.   I thought it was clever and I think she’s still gonna get huge sales without the CDs.”

“Beyoncé” has already broken iTunes’ one-week sales record in the US, following a monster debut weekend that saw more than 800,000 units sold.