Brooks starts digital music service

By CARYN ROUSSEAU Associated Press Published:

ROSE-MONT, Ill. -- Garth Brooks isn't just going digital. He's launching his own digital sales service.

The country superstar announced Thursday that he has partnered with creators of digital pay site ghosttunes.com to release his back catalog bundled with pre-orders for two new albums for about $30, and is encouraging other artists to join him in taking control of their music.

"If there is competition for music then hopefully the consumer is the winner," said Brooks, a founder and part-owner of the company. "So the more options you have I think the better the consumer gets treated."

Brooks was one of the last holdouts refusing to put his music out digitally. The 52-year-old said the bundle is for fans who have waited a decade for him to put his songs online.

"Because for those people who waited they should have something cool," he said.

The downloaded music will be playable on any device, and Brooks said royalties paid from sales will be fair for songwriters and artists.

The singer made the announcement at Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburbs where he was to open his world tour later Thursday. It's the first of 11 concerts planned in the Chicago area before multiple shows in Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida.

Brooks previously announced a deal with Sony Music for a new album, to be released around Black Friday, and Thursday said a second new album will come out fall 2015.

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