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Garth Brooks Launches Music Download Service

Country singer Garth Brooks performs on Dec. 4, 2014, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt

There’s a new ghost in the machine, and country music legend Garth Brooks hopes it will give more control to musicians.

GhostTunes offers digital songs, similar to iTunes.

“You can download the music but if you choose not to, you can listen to it in a streaming format at any time,” GhostTunes’ chief operating officer Chris Webb told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “It’s a platform that we like to think gives the customers a little more flexibility in choices and simultaneously gives the artist a little more flexibility and choices as well.”

For the artists, that flexibility includes how music is purchased.

“Garth believes that artists put a lot of work and time into creating an album. If they choose to want to sell in an album-only format, that should be their choice as the creators,” Webb said. “At GhostTunes, if an artist chooses to sell album-only, it’s totally up to them and we allow them to do that. If they want to sell single songs, great. We’ll sell them in that format as well.”

Brooks is one of the artists who has opted for album-only formats. This is the first time his music, with hits reaching back to 1989, has been released for digital download, including his latest, “Man Against the Machine,” which was released on Nov. 11. Brooks is offering his complete catalog, which includes “Man Against the Machine” and a 2015 album, for $29.99 on GhostTunes.

While Brooks is the platforms’ biggest seller, Webb said content is available from all of the major music labels and some independent labels.

“Pretty much any artist in the world that you can think about, we provide their content and their art, their music, through the platform,” Webb said.

The music platform also allows artists to promote and bundle merchandise and concert tickets.

“If they want to sell tickets in conjunction with music, or if they have a book that they’d like to sell in conjunction with music, we really just give them the freedom and flexibility to distribute how they want to,” Webb said.

Brooks is in St. Louis for a four-concert stop that started Thursday.

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.