MUSIC PRICING: THERE HAS TO BE A PARADIGM SHIFT

May 21, 2017 – 5:23 am

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$25 Hirez downloads, $80, $100, $250 box sets. Is it time for the pricing of CDs, LPs and music in general to fall? By digital vinyl infidel.

The record companies, artists, and online retailers are, in MY OPINION, going to have to sit down and do a reset.

$25 Hirez downloads, $80, $100, $250 box sets, and even $12 Redbook FLAC albums are going to have to go the way of the dodo bird.

They have to come to the realization that music simply can’t be priced the way it was 20 years ago. It has lost its value in the marketplace and competes with numerous other forms of entertainment.

I know numerous music lovers who have cut back their consumption dramatically, and shun the hirez downloads, the $40-$60 LP reissues, and even CDs in favor of Spotify, Tidal, or used CDs for pennies. No doubt piracy as well. Some even tolerate Youtube instead of paying up.

Neil Young recently gave an interview saying that all albums should be $5 regardless of resolution. I agree.

The fact is they have to stop pretending this is 1995. Many industries from that era, no longer exist: Travel agencies, stock brokers, and how about CD shops? No where is it written that you can be immune to changing tastes, technology, etc. Artists and record companies are making their incomes from licensing deals and tours today, that is what makes payroll.

I gladly pay between $5 and $8 for albums on Bandcamp. Many of the albums I buy have a “name your own price” set up. I love when I see a very fair price for an entire discography, which I can download in FLAC, WAV, MP3, or all if I wish. Or I can buy the CD, or LP, if they are offering it, and still get the downloads at no additional cost.

I am wondering if this is something others have thought about.

Note: The above article was posted at forums.stevehoffman.tv (you need to register to log in).

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  1. 5 Responses to “MUSIC PRICING: THERE HAS TO BE A PARADIGM SHIFT”

  2. No shit, Sherlock. Coulda wrote this 17 years ago.

    By chowdergun on May 22, 2017

  3. My biggest worry is for the artists, that they will make even less money. They don’t get much now.
    As far as digital downloads, in whatever format, they should be cheap, though, as they don’t incur the same manufacturing costs, so that example of $5 might be applicable there in some cases.
    With vinyl, a few years ago (i.e. still around 2011, 2012) you could still get new records cheaply. Above, Neil Young was quoted, so I’ll go with an example of him: I paid USD between 12 and 17 for new releases of his until about 5 years ago, then the prices doubled, and even almost tripled, because of the so called vinyl revolution. Now anyone knows, costs haven’t gone up that much. It reeks of Fat Cats, cashing in. So as far as the industry doing soul searching, and changing prices, a good way to begin here, would be to get rid of these arseholes.
    I don’t at all mind payiing a reasonable price for a new LP, but some of this price hiking in recent times is just ridiculous.

    By Trevor on May 23, 2017

  4. I never understood why FLAC, or other lossless files, cost more than MP3s. I’ve always seen this as another gouge by the record companies to get more of the fan’s money. It’s 2017, price everything the same and let people choose their format.

    By Ictus75 on May 23, 2017

  5. Collectors will always pay for physical product–I loathe downloads, paying for a bit of code easily lost.
    The number of steps between the artist and consumer doesn’t help the artist either, and unfortunately record retailers don’t help, overcharging when they can. I recently saw an interview with an independant record shop owner who said that the vinyl resurgance was great as they made more money off vinyl. You could see in his face he regretted saying it to camera almost immeadiately.

    By Crack on May 25, 2017

  6. People also forget the whole Tower Records saga. Towards the end of that chain’s retail existence, they still insisted on selling single CDs for $20! They had so few customers, you could walk into any Tower store, shoot off a shotgun and never hit anybody.

    I’m convinced most people who download music for free would pay for it if the prices were reasonable and affordable. The days of paying big bucks for remastered 50-year old music are over forever.

    By Jon on Jun 1, 2017

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