AC/DC release catalogue on iTunes

AC/DC AC/DC has sold 150 million copies of their albums around the world

Rock band AC/DC has released their music on Apple music store iTunes.

They had previously voiced strong opposition to the digital service.

Until now its members maintained their songs should not be made available for individual download because they were all integral parts of various albums.

But the Australian band's 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilations, which have sold more than 150 million physical copies worldwide, are now available in the iTunes store.

AC/DC's music videos were already viewed about 600,000 times a week online, their record label, Columbia Records, said.

"This iTunes, God bless 'em, it's going to kill music if they're not careful," lead singer Brian Johnson told Reuters on the release of their last album, Black Ice, in 2008.

"It just worries me. And I'm sure they're just doing it all in the interest of making as much... cash as possible. Let's put it this way, it's certainly not for the... love."

Money talks

Alice Enders, from media analysts Enders Analysis, said she believed the band's decision was ultimately a commercial one.

"AC/DC probably now understand that their future sales reside on iTunes given the steep decline of the CD in the US, long its top market," she told the BBC.

"If you can't get your music in front of people in the retail outlet, then you have no choice but to embrace digital sales."

The band has just released their first live album in 20 years and have a 40th anniversary tour planned for 2013.

But Ms Enders pointed out the band's recordings were still not available on Spotify.

"It's not embraced access services yet," she said.

Royalty issues

AC/DC is among the last of the high profile "refuseniks" to make themselves available on iTunes.

The Beatles back catalogue was released for download in 2010 after years of disputes between rights holders.

Some musicians are taking legal action against their record labels over the royalties they earn from download sales.

James Taylor, Eminem and Sister Sledge are among those who have filed complaints.

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