Michael Jackson’s Posthumous Album Is Coming to iTunes

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A storm sprang up this week around reports that, due to disagreements between Apple (s aapl) and Sony BMG (s sne), the upcoming Michael Jackson album “This Is It” — a tie-in to the movie of the same name and bound to be a sales success — would not be available on iTunes, the world’s biggest digital music provider.

When Michael Jackson tragically died in late June, sales of his music on iTunes sky-rocketed. A day after he died, eight of the 10 top-selling albums were from Michael Jackson. Eight of the 10 top-selling music videos, too. Five of the 10 top-selling singles were also from Jackson. It was a trend that would continue for weeks. With interest in (and thirst for) Michael Jackson music and video at an all-time high, online music vendors have a vested interest in the new album.

So it came as something of a surprise when, two days ago, news broke that iTunes was to be denied the chance to sell the upcoming album. Paul Reskinoff reported that, according to confidential information leaked to Digital Music News, Sony BMG and the Jackson Estate were insisting downloads could only occur within the constraints of a bundled, full album. So, if a customer wanted just one song from “This Is It,” they’d be forced to buy and download the entire album to get it. Apple’s policy, on the other hand, is well established in these matters; it insists on making individual tracks available for purchase and download. Hence the current standoff. Read More about Michael Jackson’s Posthumous Album Is Coming to iTunes