News: Despite Historic Sales, Mega Retailer Refuses To Sell Beyoncé's Record-Breaking LP

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013 2:41PM

Written by Rosario Harper

Mega retailer Target has sent shockwaves to loyal customers hoping to get their hands on Beyoncé's new self-titled album by announcing it will not carry its physical version in its stores.

According to a statement from Target, Queen Bey's decision to sell the project via iTunes first ultimately hurts its potential physical sales.

While Beyonce's new fast-selling self-titled album is sure to be on many Christmas wish lists, there's at least one major retailer that's opting not to sell the album: Target. "At Target we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, and when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections," Target spokesperson Erica Julkowski tells Billboard. She continues, "While there are many aspects that contribute to our approach and we have appreciated partnering with Beyonce 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.'" (Yahoo Music)

Despite the unexpected blow to Target customers, rival retailer Wal-Mart will have the LP available this week.

Most physical retailers will receive it by Friday, Dec. 20. It is understood that the album will not have any additional bonus or exclusive content, for any retailer. Billboard estimates that iTunes is the largest seller of music in the U.S., with about a 41% share of the market in 2012. Walmart had 10%, while Amazon (9%) and Target (5%) were the third and fourth-largest sellers, respectively. However, another major retailer, Walmart, will be carrying "Beyonce" -- and it should be in their stores by the end of the week. Walmart is "happy to be able to carry her album and support all physical music," says Walmart spokesperson Sarah McKinney. (As per Walmart's long-standing policy, they will only carry the non-explicit version of "Beyonce.") (Yahoo Music)

Since its release, Queen Bey's new LP crushed a record previously held by country star Taylor Swift.

Apple usually brags about its iPhone and iPad sales, but today the company is bragging about its "Beyonce" sales. Beyonce's self-titled album released last Friday, Dec. 13, has become the fastest selling album ever on iTunes, the company announced this morning. In just three days it has been downloaded 828,773 times from the digital music service. It also broke the U.S. first week album sales record -- previously held by Taylor Swift -- with 617,213 sold. Of course, the fact that the album was available exclusively through iTunes and not via any other digital music service helped push along the sales. Additionally, fans couldn't buy single songs for the usual 99 cent price; instead they were forced to buy the whole album for $15.99. (ABC News)

Weekend reports claimed Queen Bey's album sold 430,000 copies in just the first 24 hours of its release.

Beyonce's self-titled surprise release, which hit iTunes exclusively on Thursday evening (9 p.m. PT), has now sold over 430,000 units in just over one day, guaranteeing it the top slot on the Billboard 200 once that chart's top 10 is revealed mid-week. As reported yesterday, "Beyonce" shifted slightly over 80,000 in the three hours from 9 p.m. PT to midnight on Thursday evening, putting her Friday sales at roughly 350,000, according to industry sources. With two more days left in the sales tracking week, the title could sell over 600,000 before the buzzer sounds. (Billboard)

Bey recently explained why she went with an unexpected digital-only launch.

The videos were shot throughout the world in New York, Paris, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro during her worldwide "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour." "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," explained Bey. "I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans." The surprise release was a strategic move done to prevent leaks. Manufacturing of physical copies begins today and the double disc CD/DVD will be available in stores in time for the holidays. (Rap-Up)

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