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Old 03-21-2010, 02:07 PM   #1
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Universal to test $10 price for new CDs

I think we all agree that what has happened in the music industry over the past fifteen years is instructive for what may happen to the publishing industry.

Here's a March 18 New York Times article that says that Universal will sell throughout 2010 new CDs for $10 or less. It says that "deluxe" CDs will sell for more, but it doesn't define "deluxe".

SoundScan says that CD sales are half what they were in 2000, and Universal thinks that it is because the price is too high.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/bu...t1j5W6VdkS34dA
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #2
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The price IS too high, and I can just get the songs I want on iTunes or the like and not have to spend the money on the entire CD when I am only going to listen to a couple songs to begin with
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:29 PM   #3
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$10 is still a ripoff, particularly if, as rcuadro says, you can get only the songs you like in iTunes. Aside of that, a CD of 700 mb's can be filled with 150 songs or more, and they tend to pack a dozen or less in every disc.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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At this stage, having a physical medium attached to my media is a liability. I don't want to have to carry bulky CD cases or have them take space in my car.

So really they have to match the online price points of MP3s AND they have to be something I'd want to 'collect' for posterity sake. The only time I'd like a hard copy is for my all time favorite albums, so I can enjoy the tactile experience of handling collectors edition artwork. This is a good move from the record industry but really, CDs will have the same marketshare as vinyl currently does in about 10 years (apart from the developing world perhaps).
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
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iTunes is a great thing for convenience and when you don't want the whole album, but I don't go that route. I tend to like having the whole album and the physical CD, mainly because I'll rip it to a lossless format (FLAC, for me) and transcode to AAC/MP4 for use on the iPod, PSP, PRS-600, etc... I think $10 is a great step for the pricing of CD's.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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iTunes is a great thing for convenience and when you don't want the whole album, but I don't go that route. I tend to like having the whole album and the physical CD, mainly because I'll rip it to a lossless format (FLAC, for me) and transcode to AAC/MP4 for use on the iPod, PSP, PRS-600, etc... I think $10 is a great step for the pricing of CD's.
I agree, I like having the physical media and rip to lossless, then for portability. For most of the artists I like, I want the entire album even if a couple of songs seem weak (repeated listening often changes my opinion).

It's refreshing to see a large company like Universal experiment with lower pricing for a change. Maybe ebook publishers could take note...
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:39 AM   #7
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Your DRM free digital song will play fine in 20 years,. A silly piece of plastic...... not so much....

Remember 78 RPM albums? Of course you don't.... that's my point.
Remember 33 1/3 RPM albums? Maybe, listen to any lately?
Remember 45 RPM singles? Maybe, listen to any lately?

Digital can be converted to whatever the next format is.... and thus played on future players. CD's are a wastedof money.... they wear out, warp, oxidize.... etc.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logseman View Post
$10 is still a ripoff, particularly if, as rcuadro says, you can get only the songs you like in iTunes. Aside of that, a CD of 700 mb's can be filled with 150 songs or more, and they tend to pack a dozen or less in every disc.
I'm assuming your being facetious here-or do you really expect every album to come with 150 songs? That would be like expecting to only pay 15 cents for a digital book because it's only 300kb in size.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:55 AM   #9
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I'm assuming your being facetious here-or do you really expect every album to come with 150 songs? That would be like expecting to only pay 15 cents for a digital book because it's only 300kb in size.
There is virtue in the middle point. What I won't swallow is that, like in my origin country, Spain, the artist mafia intend to tell me that an "enhanced rerelease" of a disc with 3 new songs can be released at 18 euro, just as they like to. I want 30, 40 songs in an album.

And of course, non-technical ebooks should lower their price dramatically (and technical ones too). We're talking about book releases inferior or at best equal in quality to the free books that we have in Mobileread. We're talking about books with poor metadata, cruddy formatting and no enhancing content, at least in the Spanish market that I know. And we have the darknet and public source material as free alternatives. They know it, you see, and that's why they pass Sony Bono acts ("We want copyright to last forever, but alas, the Constitution forbids it, damn the Founding Fathers!") and prosecute the darknet.

Summing all that up, in my view ebooks shall be around one-two dollar the piece. That, of course, won't be enough to sustain the huge mammoths' lobbies, their subsidized scale diseconomies and their growing overhead costs, but it will do for the author, who is the one who should be paid for his or her job.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bremen Cole View Post
Your DRM free digital song will play fine in 20 years,. A silly piece of plastic...... not so much....

Remember 78 RPM albums? Of course you don't.... that's my point.
Remember 33 1/3 RPM albums? Maybe, listen to any lately?
Remember 45 RPM singles? Maybe, listen to any lately?

Digital can be converted to whatever the next format is.... and thus played on future players. CD's are a wastedof money.... they wear out, warp, oxidize.... etc.
Media should be viewed as what they are - i.e. media for transferrring the content. I only listen to music digitally, but I prefer to buy CDs for the quality as others have mentioned. So, they can have a purpose while downloaded music is not offered in a lossless format. Also, they have a purpose in that they are a licensed copy that can be lent, given as a gift, resold etc., which is not as practical (or satisfying as a gift) with a file copy.

I often find that the mp3 download costs as much and more than the CD in any case (postage free!), so why wouldn't I go for a better quality version that can be resold etc. with a booklet to look at, for the same money or less?
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bremen Cole View Post
Your DRM free digital song will play fine in 20 years,. A silly piece of plastic...... not so much....

Remember 78 RPM albums? Of course you don't.... that's my point.
Remember 33 1/3 RPM albums? Maybe, listen to any lately?
Remember 45 RPM singles? Maybe, listen to any lately?

Digital can be converted to whatever the next format is.... and thus played on future players. CD's are a wastedof money.... they wear out, warp, oxidize.... etc.
No, no, NO!

MP3 is a licensed format, so I would not expect companies to continue paying for the privilege of using an inferior codec forever. But besides that, MP3 and AAC, the two dominant formats for digital music, are lossy formats. You CANNOT convert these to another file and maintain the integrity of the music. It's like transferring analog tapes, the quality degrades with every successive copy.

CDs can be reripped to the new format whenever you take the box out of the basement, or you can rip to FLAC and transcode from there as others have stated.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Logseman View Post
$10 is still a ripoff, particularly if, as rcuadro says, you can get only the songs you like in iTunes. Aside of that, a CD of 700 mb's can be filled with 150 songs or more, and they tend to pack a dozen or less in every disc.
But if you filled that CD with 150 songs, I wouldn't want to buy it! The reason I buy CDs is so that I can get full-fidelity versions of my classical, jazz, early music, rock, pop, etc. If I wanted a degraded (e.g. compressed) version, I'd just buy it online.

If they used Apple Lossless compression, or one of the open-source lossless encoders, or some other equivalent, they could put 2x as much music on a disc (on average) with no reduction in sound quality. I certainly wouldn't object.

Anyway, I buy most of my CDs direct from the artists at concerts (and at full price... sigh). That way the artists get both the wholesale and retail markup in addition to whatever payment they would have (?might have?) gotten from their label. (It happens that the particular concert venues I patronize most frequently don't charge the artists for selling their discs; other venues have other policies.)

So a $10 price point looks like a very good idea to me. As always your mileage (and your needs) may vary.

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Old 03-22-2010, 01:31 PM   #13
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I prefer CDs because of the sound quality. I can tell the difference even on a small portable player with decent earbuds. *If* I could purchase lossless digital formats at a reasonable price then I would.

To save $$, I tend to buy used CDs but for lesser known artists I will spend the extra money and buy new.

$10 CDs are welcome news!

Last edited by TallMomof2; 03-22-2010 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Forgot to address the original topic.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:56 PM   #14
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LOL! I'm surprised to see everyone talking about music here. Not that you're not welcome to do so. I have no desire to direct the conversation.

But when I started the thread, I thought the discussion would be about the fact that so many (a majority?) of the posters here are concerned that the publishers will keep the price of their pbooks and eBooks artificially high. Here we have an example of the largest record company in the world coming to the conclusion that it and its competitors have been doing just that for the past ten years.

The next time we send an email to a publisher, we should remind them of the parallels between online music and online book downloading (both legit and otherwise), and suggest that if Universal thinks that the MSRP of CDs is too high, maybe the MSRP of books is too.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bremen Cole View Post
Your DRM free digital song will play fine in 20 years,. A silly piece of plastic...... not so much....

Remember 78 RPM albums? Of course you don't.... that's my point.
Remember 33 1/3 RPM albums? Maybe, listen to any lately?
Remember 45 RPM singles? Maybe, listen to any lately?

Digital can be converted to whatever the next format is.... and thus played on future players. CD's are a wastedof money.... they wear out, warp, oxidize.... etc.
Others have addressed the DRM and lossy aspect of digitized music, so I won't touch on that other than to agree 100% with not wanting those in my archive.

Now, that silly piece of plastic, well, I have plenty of music CD's bordering on 20 yrs old and no sign of degradation. I've ripped, and re-ripped some of my discs over the years with no problems at all. Rip once with a good drive and something like EAC on the PC, or XLD on the Mac, to a lossless format and you're good to go for years.
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