If you’re buying Pink Floyd tracks online, you’ll have to buy the whole album, thanks to a ruling handed down this week in the band’s legal dispute against EMI.
The music media landscape is changing, and while bands like OK Go have proved masterful at taking advantage, there’s something to be said about Pink Floyd’s insistence that their music is sold the way it was made. (Ironically enough, OK Go had to fight EMI to execute their vision of social promotion.)
This is an artistic decision, not a business decision. Albums like Dark Side of the Moon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are built differently than today’s albums, which are often a collection of singles. Those albums are like movies – while isolated parts might be enjoyable, they only really make sense when taken as a whole. Today’s music might be more akin to a episodes of a TV show – enjoyable and self-contained in smaller pieces.
The decision won’t help Pink Floyd sell music. But that’s not the point.