I’ve noticed a popular trend popping up lately. Online retailers offering deep discounts on albums in the hopes that people will purchase them. Which leads to a good question: Are you more likely to buy an album from ITunes, Amazon, or another such company if the price is between $3 and $4 for the entire album?
With the ease of illegal downloading and the many free songs and albums that are available via the internet, some people may view it as silly to actually pay for an album. However, if that price is lowered to a small fee, is that more acceptable?
Personally, I still prefer to buy CDs over MP3s, then rip the CD to my IPOD if I really like it. And at $10 - $14 per CD, I’m careful about what I buy these days. The new Airbourne CD was only $7 in its first week of release, so I grabbed that, but if it was $12 or $14, would I have bought it?
Which also leads to a good question, what is a fair price to pay for a compact disc? What about an MP3? Personally, I think a new album purchased via MP3 should cost less. There is no packaging, no physical merchandise to ship or store, and no booklet to peruse. Those are still one of the biggest reasons I prefer CDs to MP3s. I know the new ITunes is offering virtual booklets and artwork, but it’s not quite the same. Cousin Ryo has not technologically progressed that far yet.
Lately, Amazon, in an effort to keep up with ITunes and gain some of their market share, has been offering discounted album specials. Called MP3s Under $4.99, Amazon is really making some noise with these particular offerings. Granted, some of these albums are old, back catalogs that you probably already own, but the younger generation may not. Plus, it gives people a chance to shop and browse online. And research shows, the longer one browses, the more likely one is to purchase something. They also offer 100 MP3 Albums under $5. This is a wider selection of some great albums worth browsing through.
I think that Amazon and other online retailers are heading in the right direction. By offering music fans cheaper music online it increases the value of collecting physical CDs (and vinyl) and gives fans the option of getting a discounted version of the MP3, should they not want the physical album. $5.00 or less is a great starting point and I hope that one day, all online albums will cost $5.00
So I ask you, dear readers, what do you think is a fair price to pay for an MP3 album? Is it $5? Is it less? What would be the ultimate price that would make you happy to purchase online music and never think of illegally downloading an album again? Cousin Ryo wants to know.
Comments are open. Feel free to post some.