When Björk’s new album, Vulnicura, leaked earlier this year, it was months before its actual scheduled release. And while it was probably safe to assume that kind of early leak caused a flurry of activity among the singer’s camp, now there’s actual proof courtesy of a fascinating Billboard article, which details how Vulnicura ended up hitting iTunes just a couple of days ago. The piece, “Behind The Scenes Of How Björk’s Team Handled the Vulnicura Leak,” is an incredibly candid look behind the music industry’s curtain, with Derek Birkett, head of Björk’s label, One Little Indian, opening up about the push and pull he felt between Amazon and iTunes, as well as how distributors in Europe felt about the early digital release. (Spoiler alert: not great!)
Here’s some particularly insightful dirt:
As release deals continued to fall through, Birkett reached out to iTunes after asking Amazon if Vulnicura could be made available as a free download to those who pre-ordered its physical edition. After initially agreeing, Amazon pulled out once the album became available on iTunes, arguing that One Little Indian was engaging in a marketing scam to make Vulnicura No. 1 on iTunes.
“Basically what happened is I panicked and gave it to iTunes because I told them, ‘All these deals are going down and we’re losing a lot of money,’” Birkett says. “I told them to put it on the cover and we’d give them the exclusive. Then I realized the political implications of giving iTunes the exclusive.”
Fortunately for whoever leaked the record, Birkett says Björk and her team won’t be suing that person, despite the “nightmare” he or she caused.