Think there’s a little money to be made in this post-Whitney Age?


Consider this, if you will.

The company that owns the rights to her music, Sony Music, has been the subject of some criticism after they upped the price of her music on Apple’s iTunes store right after she was found dead.

(When I saw this, I also wondered what effect this would have on Apple’s stock price per share, as its already gone over the $500 mark, but that’s another story!)

But isn’t there a good reason for our cynicism?

Hell, the body’s not even cold and here come the profiteers.

Nothing works better than death to spike the sales of the catalogue of a newly deceased artist in an otherwise moribund market.


I recall following the death of Elvis Presley, how his rendition of "My Way" shot all the way up to number one when I was a novice DJ down in Georgia.

As a basis for comparison, there’s also this, from the LA Times, 3 weeks after the death of Michael Jackson:


“The surge in sales of Michael Jackson's music catalog continued Wednesday with the announcement that his recordings dominated the pop charts for the third consecutive week, and a source told The Times that more than 9 million of Jackson's albums have been sold worldwide since his death June 25. (My own observation, it’s that same company that controls the catalogue of his adult solo recordings.)
Nielsen SoundScan said Jackson's albums sold 1.1 million copies over the last seven days and had combined to sell an impressive 2.3 million in the U.S. in the nearly three weeks since he died.”

Two of Houston's albums, The Ultimate Collection, and Whitney-The Greatest Hits, were in the 3 top selling albums on iTunes as of noon Monday.

According to the British publication, The Guardian”:

“Music fans described the move as a cynical attempt to capitalise (sic) on Houston's in-demand greatest hits records. The price hike came as tributes flooded in for the singer, whose catalogue includes hits such as I Wanna Dance With Somebody and I Will Always Love You.

The change happened when Sony Music, which owns the rights to much of Houston's back catalogue, increased the wholesale price of The Ultimate Collection. This automatically boosted the retail price of the popular album, although Apple is responsible setting the price paid by music fans.
It is understood that the change occurred after Sony Music reviewed Houston's iTunes catalogue after the singer was pronounced dead.
One insider close to the situation said the price hike was not a "cynical" move – but that the wholesale price of Houston's The Ultimate Collection was wrong. The change in wholesale price boosted the album's retail price on iTunes.”

Sure, and I got a bridge I’d like to sell you!


WuTang had it right all along:

"Cash Rules Everything Around Me!"