Metallica certainly doesn’t have the reputation for being particularly fan friendly when it comes to the internet, so it’s no surprise that they’ve made the decision not to let music download services like iTunes offer up their songs on an individual basis. Now, however, many other bands are protesting this a la carte distribution of their music.

A number of other well-known musical groups, such as Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and Kid Rock have all joined Metallica in telling Apple they won’t be included in iTunes if they have to allow for single song downloads. The artists, as they’re known to do, say that this is all for “artistic” reasons rather than financial reasons. They’re certainly allowed to do whatever they want, but they’ll soon find that upsetting their fans isn’t the smartest move in the world. If the music is good, fans will download the full album. If it’s not, then why should they force them to.

While some think that iTunes’ unbundling of music will harm the industry, that’s a very shortsighted view. By letting musicians create and distribute music quickly and cheaply, while also giving fans more of what they want, it will let musicians produce more music and grow even larger fan bases. Denying your fans what they want doesn’t exactly make you look fan-friendly – and with so many choices today for where people will spend their money, not being fan-friendly can hurt… in the financial sense. Besides, if fans can’t use legitimate services to download the few songs they want from these artists, they’ll simply go to file sharing networks and download them for free.
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