Do the current methods of music consumption render the idea of the single archaic? Via Drowned in Sound:
Online the concept of singles really has no meaning. If a song is online – and when I say online I mean streaming or available for download somewhere – then it is “out”. If you have to prescribe a release date to a track then look no further then the upload date on the SoundCloud/YouTube page. And guess what? A track can appear online for free, and then at a later date be up for sale. In an ideal world most of the time there wouldn’t be a delay on that (and for a lot of tracks their aren’t), but for a lot of reasons like delivery schedules, production deadlines and radio impact their quite often is.