The so-called alternative to iTunes appears to be no more.
Garth Brooks' Ghost Tunes, a digital and physical distribution platform billed as an alternative to iTunes that launched a little over two years ago, is apparently folding into Amazon Music.
In an email sent out today, the service thanked its users and announced a "new partnership with Amazon Music" that instructed users to transfer their entire library to the e-tailer's music platform for "free." The note encouraged Ghost Tunes users to "check out Amazon's Music Unlimited" service for which their users, pretty much like everyone else, can get a free 30-day trial.
The platform initially launched with ten million pieces content, including T-shirts, posters and CDs as well as licensing deals with Universal, Warner Music Group and Sony Music. The service, however, differed from other online sellers by allowing labels to choose price, formats and royalty payments. Brooks, for his part, fered a bundle his back catalog, live material and a new album for the low low price $30.00.
In a Billboard story on the launch, Ghost Tunes CEO Randy Bernard recalled telling Brooks they would be "going up against Google, Amazon, iTunes -- billion-dollar companies." At the time Brooks thought the new business model might change what he saw as an unfair economic model with other services and called the site "my gift to music."
That gift apparently went unappreciated and this past October Brooks announced he was moving his catalog exclusively to Amazon.
Billboard reached out to Ghost Tunes and Garth Brooks' press reps for comment, but did not receive comment back at press time.
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