Sunday, April 18, 2004

it's expensive, crappy music no matter what media it comes on

I think the most significant factors accounting for the recent drop in CD sales are; 1) heavily marketed pop music is in a sorry state; and 2) CD's are just too damn expensive (people aren't rolling in loot like in the 1990's after all). Because of this drop in sales, which certainly aren't all attributable to music downloading, if at all according to recent studies, the music industry is probably going to get powerful new copyright weapons to fight piracy with. Therefore the music industry actually has only mariginal interest in working to help make online music sale systems like iTunes sucessful. The industry needs to be able to continue claiming that CD sales are hurting and not being replaced by online music sales. So what do they do...make purchasing the music online even more expensive than buying the CD's!

For instance, Janet Jackson's "Damita Jo" goes for $16.99 on iTunes, while the CD will run you $9.99 at Best Buy. Indie-rockers Modest Mouse's "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" carries a $13.99 price tag at iTunes, while Barnes & Noble's Web site lists it at $9.73...Apple says that any higher prices are influenced by what the record labels charge the company for each release. The labels, meanwhile, insist that they don't control stores' price tags. The wholesale prices they set leave room for retailers to choose their own profit margin -- which can be less than zero, in the case of CDs sold as loss leaders.

Most consumers out there, including myself, wouldn't even accept Janet Jackson or Modest Mouse tunes if they were free. Perhaps the quality of the music is a huge part of the problem?

Via the Washington Post.


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