I thought I'd shed some light onto the reasoning behind our product model here at Hurt. It's a very important part of our image and yet it may be one of the most controversial topics of the last ten years in the digital media world. As you know, I've worked in this industry for a long time and I feel as though my experience should help explain this with clarity. Before I tread much further lets evaluate the two models;
The iTunes Model:
For many years iTunes has been offering the ability to purchase individual tracks from an album (with the exception of some tracks longer than 11 minutes). They weren't the first digital outlet to do it and they won't be the last. The fact is, the consumer likes it because they are able to pick the songs they heard on the radio and a maybe a few others and they are able to listen to those songs (completely out of context to the rest of the album) until the cows come home.
The Hurt Records Model:
For us it's simple; We don't feel as though the freedom of choice is beneficial to either the consumer or the artist. Please remember that for decades before iTunes, CD's, Tapes, Vinyls, LPs, were all purchased as an album and the whole point of the product was that I was created so that you could experience it from front to back. This is why (with the exception of singles) we do not offer the ability to download individual tracks from any of our albums.
I understand that a few people have been asking about this issue and this is the reason I am addressing it. This isn't a new topic and it's plagued every company I've been fortunate enough to work with for the last 10 years. It's easiest to think of it like this; You wouldn't watch The Shawshank Redemption and just watch the third scene and the last scene. It might make some sense but at the end of the day you have lost the developmental anchors which make it a classic! There is the argument that some songs carry enough weight and gravitas that they are firmly interpretable without the rest of the album, to those people I say "It was never meant to be heard this way."
There is also the argument that "we should be happy that people are even buying individual tracks". I mean, it's a fair point and I don't even want to argue with it but, that was never how our products were intended. A lot of time and effort goes into making an album like 'Quiet One' and it pains me to think that some people may only select some songs and not listen from the beginning to the end. Lets get one thing straight, I don't listen to an entire album every time I want to hear a single song, but I always make sure my first listen of the release is from front to back so I understand the scope and dynamics of the album/project before I start to single out my favourite songs. At the end of the day our model favours the artist, the consumer and most importantly the art, without which you wouldn't be reading this. Thanks for reading down to here.