Seattle Office of Film + Music

August 27, 2009, 11:49 am
Filed under: Digital Media, Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

Rolling StonePearl Jam
In June, news broke that Target stores had secured the exclusive big-box retail rights for Pearl Jam’s upcoming album “Backspacer.” But while Walmart has its own digital music store and Best Buy owns Napster, Target doesn’t have a notable digital music presence. To level the playing field, Target and iTunes announced on Tuesday that the two vendors will team up for a new Target-exclusive section on the iTunes Music Store. Fittingly, the first album that will be offered up in this new pact will be Pearl Jam’s “Backspacer,” due out September 20th.

August 3, 2009, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,
Pearl Jam is also celebrating because it finally made good on a longstanding desire to release its music on its own, without the aid of a major label. “Backspacer” will come out Sept. 20 in the United States through a creative patchwork of deals with physical and digital retailers, the most prominent of which is a one-off, big-box exclusive with Target. Internationally, Universal Music is the label for the release. The Target partnership threw fans for a loop when the news leaked in June. At first glance the move seems at odds with a band whose DIY, fan-first business ethic has set it against corporate behemoths like Ticketmaster and AT&T. But as details began to emerge, it became clear that Pearl Jam managed to make a deal that rewards the band and its fans as much as it does the stores that sell its music. Target agreed to let independent music retailers carry “Backspacer,” a first for one of its exclusives. (The album will be distributed to indie stores by the Coalition of Independent Music Stores’ Junketboy division.) “Backspacer” will also be sold on Pearl Jam’s Web site and at Apple’s iTunes Music Store. “We’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and we’ve done it in a way that we think will be good for everybody,” Vedder says. He understands why some fans may be confused about the deal, but he says, “I can’t think of anything we’ve ever done without putting it through our own personal moral barometer. Target has passed for us. The fans just have to trust us.”