AC/DC downloads hit 400,000 prior to physical only release

Duncan Riley - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 4:20 p.m. ET

AC/DC has hit new highs this week, but their own stubbornness means that they may miss out from the record numbers.

According to TorrentFreak, a leak of the forthcoming AC/DC album Black Ice, due to be released October 20 in physical form only and with no digital sales, has been downloaded 400,000 times from BitTorrent alone, so not including other P2P and file sharing services.

AC/DC maintain a complete refusal to allow their music to be sold online, because they believe that their music should be sold in album form only, where as Apple forces bands to offer sales of each single from the album individually. AC/DC cites album sales figures that have actually increased in the last 5 years as proof that their refusal to offer digital sales works for them.

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The downloads from BitTorrent may lead to increased sales of the new album; studies have previously found that downloaders are more likely to buy the official release having sampled an illegal copy, than those who have never heard the music previously. And yet, the correlation between downloads and physical copies of music is hit and miss: a Canadian study found increased CD sales, another reported by the BBC found the increase went to purchasing digital copies. AC/DC is limiting those buying outcomes by offering a physical copy only, and the downloads actually do demonstrate one thing clearly: listeners want access to AC/DC music digitally.


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