How much for one song?

02004-10-08 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

More thoughts on music pricing… I read an article in Wired and the author seemed to suggest that iTunes is too expensive. Take the 99cents per song and half that and then lower it still, he wrote.

Well, maybe we need different pricing for records made with a couple of turntable in a bedroom and a record made in a real studio with real musicians and real instruments. Instruments are expensive – Jon’s upright was over $11,000, my guitars are about half that each… engineers are expensive, studios are expensive to rent and even more expensive to build. And that is especially true for acoustic music where we need silence… a sample jockey can work in the noisiest neighborhood…

Anyway, a bronze sculpture has a high price, simply because they are expensive to make compared to a drawing ot painting… maybe we need separate pricing for acoustic music – the problem will be to teach the public why prices for our music have to be higher.

9 Comments

  1. Matt Callahan

    Simple solution. Top 40 fluff sells for 10 or 15 cents per track. That will keep the bubble gum crowd happy. Seriously, I think a great CD selling somewhere in the area of $15.00 is a bargin. I’ll listen to it for years and the music inside enriches my life. Great example, Opium. A two CD collection containing 32 fantastic songs for around $22.00. Who wouldn’t pay that?

    Reply
  2. Flavio

    Great point Matt! I agree, I do not see music as a commodity – it can’t be – I think we addressed this issue here some time ago. I can’t compare a Britney Spears tune with a master piece – and this has nothing to do with taste – my point is strictly based on that artist that must remain VERY commercial in order to survive versus one whose motivation is art, sophistication, beauty. $.015 for a BS is fine with me – $.15 for Snakecharmer is, to say the least, a major offense to listeners like me.

    Reply
  3. Brad

    A dollar a song is a fantastic deal. I have no idea why people whine and complain about that price. We sepnd $8 at the theater to see 1 movie and are only able to see it once without paying again. I pay $1 for a song, I can listen to it as much as I want, whenever I want for a measily one time price of $1. On average, I listen to about 4-6 hours of music a day, and music gives me a feeling that no movie can compare with. Honestly, I wouldnt even care if it were $2 a song, it would still be worth it(im talking about good music btw).

    Reply
  4. salma

    Price of a song is what it is worth to a person. It could be worth their life or sanity!
    Unfortunately many musicians and artists never receive the compensation which is really due to them.

    Reply
  5. Brad

    I do though, disagree with pricing music differently depending on whether it is acoustic or not. All musical gear is expensive, well at least decent gear. I believe that each artist deserves at least a dollar for their time and emotion put into each song, whether or not they used a synthesizer, a flute, a midi sequencer or a guitar. And even though a sample jockey can record at home, so can alot of guitarists and other acoustic musicians. But an inumerable amount strive for quality, and thats when studios come into play.I think that if people want really cheap music, they should get really low quality recordings, not the top quality, more expensive recordings.

    Reply
  6. blogNRound

    In indonesia, a multicourse dinner for 4 is $7.00.

    a well paid chinese assembly worker earns about 1000 Yuan a month a car is 100k yuan… relative economics are very distorted…. globally.

    Globalization makes CD pricing questions even more difficult to answer uniformly and adds the complexity wrinkle.

    piracy would disappear in Asia if DVDs and CD were maybe $4.00 and $1.00 respectively. who wouldn’t want to own a gold standard CD or DVD instead of a duplicate. We’re talking an entire CD here not one song.

    what the asian markets are saying “too expensive”….and so at current pricing levels, piracy flourishes unabated. many chinese artists no longer receive any money for their CDs, but get product placements, concerts and promotional streams from their works.

    the music industry in the USs solution to all this of course is sue sue sue.. .

    secure the copyright from the artist and sue ..

    yet i think their business model, is fading,
    they aren’t going to scare world citizens into preserving their obsoleting business model, and their profits… the industry could and should embrace their customers, instead of sue them.

    a logical model is like what otmar is doing or dell computer, and that’s going directly to the markets, the customer and skipping the middle man.

    the music industry lobbyists or no lobbyists are going to wake up one morning broke….. and cut out of the system if they keep up this “adversarial” “legal” transaction oriented relationship, both with artists and the buyers of music.

    on the question of a song’s price… i think it depends…. I understand the upfront costs are expensive… but the capacity for parts of the global economy to pay a given price depends on relative economics.. and costs and prices are not necessarily coupled.. maybe profit in some areas are reduced to increase overall revenue and profit globally.

    here in the US a buck seems groovy. my 2 bits…
    best
    – Kurt.

    Reply
  7. blogNRound

    In indonesia, a multicourse dinner for 4 is $7.00.

    a well paid chinese assembly worker earns about 1000 Yuan a month a car is 100k yuan… relative economics are very distorted…. globally.

    Globalization makes CD pricing questions even more difficult to answer uniformly and adds the complexity wrinkle.

    piracy would disappear in Asia if DVDs and CD were maybe $4.00 and $1.00 respectively. who wouldn’t want to own a gold standard CD or DVD instead of a duplicate. We’re talking an entire CD here not one song.

    what the asian markets are saying “too expensive”….and so at current pricing levels, piracy flourishes unabated. many chinese artists no longer receive any money for their CDs, but get product placements, concerts and promotional streams from their works.

    the music industry in the USs solution to all this of course is sue sue sue.. .

    secure the copyright from the artist and sue ..

    yet i think their business model, is fading,
    they aren’t going to scare world citizens into preserving their obsoleting business model, and their profits… the industry could and should embrace their customers, instead of sue them.

    a logical model is like what otmar is doing or dell computer, and that’s going directly to the markets, the customer and skipping the middle man.

    the music industry lobbyists or no lobbyists are going to wake up one morning broke….. and cut out of the system if they keep up this “adversarial” “legal” transaction oriented relationship, both with artists and the buyers of music.

    on the question of a song’s price… i think it depends…. I understand the upfront costs are expensive… but the capacity for parts of the global economy to pay a given price depends on relative economics.. and costs and prices are not necessarily coupled.. maybe profit in some areas are reduced to increase overall revenue and profit globally.

    here in the US a buck seems groovy. my 2 bits…
    best
    – Kurt.

    Reply
  8. Brad

    The biggest problem I see with lowering prices of cd’s to say $4-5 is the effect it will have on the artists. As it stands most artists recieve 10-20% royalties for each cd sold. If cd prices are cut to say $5, that would hurt the artists, because then their royalties and such would be dramatically cut, to im assuming 5-10% each cd sold.Plus they make it off of the wholesale price, not retail. That would make it to where artists would be making 5% off of $3, and we know they could not survuve off of that. The record companies want their money, and they will make up for it by screwing the artists. Anything less than $10 dollars does not do the artist any justice. OL has the best idea, directly sell, and as we can all see this has not hindered him slighty, after all, La Semana debuted at #5 on the billboard.

    Reply
  9. Jonas

    It is important to consider whether lower prices will increase quantities sold, and exactly how much. This is a crucuial element people tend to leave out in this discussion.

    Reducing the price from $10 to $5 does not mean that the artist (or the record company for that matter) will get half as much money. If the album sells twice as much because of the lower price, then everyone gets the same amount of money.

    This is what is called Price Elasticity in economics. The optimal price depends on whether your audience is price-elastic or not — that is if you lower the price by 10% will 20% more people buy (price elastic)? Or is it the opposite — if you double the price, will you only lose a mere 5% of sales (price inelastic)? Based on the demand curve and your fixed and variable costs you can calculate your optimal profit-maximizing price point.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Archives

Images

Social

@Mastodon (the Un-Twitter)