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Online music prices going up?


rustyjaw
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I found this article at wired.com.

 

All five major music companies are discussing ways to boost the price of single-song downloads on hot releases -- to anywhere from $1.25 to as much as $2.49.

 

What!? If ever there was a clear case of price gouging, this is it. record companies have never had lower costs than now, with the cost of music production at an all-time low, the cost of manufacturing approaching zero (it's all ones-and-zeros), and the cost of distribution falling like a rock...they apparently want more money!

 

And you gotta love this:

 

The industry is also mulling other ways to charge more for online singles. One option under consideration is bundling hit songs with less-desirable tracks.

 

Uh, so they are thinking of forcing people to buy songs they don't want so they can charge more for the bundle! Wow, that should inspire a lot of good music in the future!

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Originally posted by FreakTornado@Apr 9 2004, 02:07 PM

The industry is also mulling other ways to charge more for online singles. One option under consideration is bundling hit songs with less-desirable tracks.

 

Uh, so they are thinking of forcing people to buy songs they don't want so they can charge more for the bundle!

Sounds like they can't let go of the album model. I imagine this is important in the realm of pop music -- there's one hit song (which sucks) and 10 other songs (which suck more).

 

The proposed premium prices are weird. They seem to be priced within grasp of CD's?! Why would I download something lossy if I could own the CD for close to the same price? Or is this the point?

 

Weird.

 

-j

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I just don't get it. They should be coddling people who are willing to pay for compressed music when they could nearly as easily go get it for free!

 

From here it makes the music industry look like nothing more than money-grubbing, arrogant bastards. I swear it almost makes me root for music piracy to make a big comeback...which this kind of maneuver (if it actually happens) is sure to trigger.

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From here it makes the music industry look like nothing more than money-grubbing, arrogant bastards.

 

This has been fairly apparent since Napster though. I don't know, I know why people hate music piracy, and I don't think it's fair that artists miss out blah blah, but let's be reasonable, most CDs these days suck. Your (s)hit artist is literally putting one or two decent songs on a CD plus track after track of third-rate crap.

 

Piracy is strong because people are sick of paying for over-priced crap. I'd argue that the reason movie piracy is so big in some circles is that the theater-going experience has also become so expensive and comparatively lousy (it's a treat to not have some ignorant peon ruin a movie these days instead of an aberration).

 

Same deal with the music industry. They want to gouge you to death for a not-so-great experience and then complain when people get so fed up that they begin seeking alterior routes. Now, that's not to glamorize piracy because there are quite a few of us who are just after something for nothing, but it's hard to support a bunch of fat-cat industry executives who think we should pay more for garbage we don't want and just a couple songs we do merely so they can line their pockets.

 

Trying to enforce the old school methods instead of adapting to change is a sure way to encourage more piracy, if you ask me.

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Originally posted by FreakTornado@Apr 9 2004, 02:42 PM

Maybe some of you more legally-minded can explain this. But how can an entire industry be in talks to raise prices across the board? Isn't that a violation of anti-trust law, or something?

I think what is happening -- at least on the surface -- is that the labels are all discussing raising prices internally, not within an industry context. Thus, they are contemplating raising prices due to market-driven decisions, not due to any sort of collusion leading to restraint-of-trade practices. Or at least, I think that's the story.

 

However, the digital-music services say they base their retail prices directly on the wholesale prices the music companies charge. "Our pricing comes when the fees come in from the labels," said Csathy.

 

-j

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