Amazon refuse to stock 'Beyoncé' following iTunes exclusive

Online giant will not stock physical copies of Beyonce's fifth album

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Amazon are the latest retailer to protest Beyonce's releasing her self-titled album exclusively via iTunes and have refused to stock physical copies of the album.

Earlier this week, US chain Target announced they would not stock 'Beyoncé', and Amazon have followed suit, although the album is available from the latter's online US MP3 store if a customer searches for it. The UK site, however, has no mention of the album physical or digital.

Beyonce surprised everyone releasing her fifth album without warning on December 13. The album was available only from iTunes, who got a one week exclusive window to sell the 14-song, 17-video album. The trick worked, with more than 820,000 units sold worldwide during the first three-days of availability to become the iTunes' fastest-ever-selling album. It also went to No 1 in 104 countries.

While most merchants have chosen to carry the Beyonce album, which, now the week-long exclusive deal has expired, was available elsewhere yesterday (December 20), Amazon and Target still aren't happy, and it's so far unclear what impact their refusal to sell the album will have. Sources told Billboard Sony and Columbia, who released the album, still managed to ship over 500,000 units of the CD by today’s street date, however.

Meanwhile, in addition to being annoyed at the Beyonce exclusive, Amazon is rumoured to still be reeling from the edict handed down by Sony Music Entertainment that no retailer could pre-sell the Beyonce title. Pre-sales of new titles have proven to be an effective marketing tool and the Sony edict was interpreted as further protecting the iTunes exclusive window. According to further sources, Amazon may be considering further reprisals against Sony Music Entertainment and Columbia.

Announcing their decision to not stock Beyonce, Target spokesperson Erica Julkowski said: "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'."

Meanwhile, Beyoncé added extra dates to the string of shows announced for 2014 as part of a wider Mrs Carter Show European tour. The singer will now play two dates each in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester before four nights at London's O2 Arena in February and March of next year. X Factor winner Sam Bailey will provide support on all of the dates.

Beyoncé will play:

Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena (February 20, 21, 2014)
Birmingham LG Arena (23, 24)
Manchester Arena (25, 26)
London O2 Arena (February 28, March 1, 2, 4)



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