Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Downloading music gets more expensive

Something that's odd about the music downloading debate is that it's forced record labels into the odd burst of conciliatory language. Not in the sense that they consider file sharers to be anything other than criminals, but they have come out with the odd comment to the effect that they understand that essentially you 'can't compete with free' and have talked about a downloading climate which reflects better value for money - if not better than the file sharers can offer, then at least better than the rip-off prices and poor quality service they've been running for years. The more optimistic amongst us imagined a climate where artists began to be disinclined to fill albums with fillers, where the customer can pick and choose and discover, inexpensively, new artists. The lovely Bleep from the even lovelier Warp offers just this. On Bleep downloadable albums cost an average of 7 quid - significantly cheaper than the CD counterpart. But as for the good intentions of the rest of the music industry? Unsurprisingly, it's a sham.

Andrew mails to tell me that "The Wall Street Journal carries a story today on the higher prices customers are starting to face from online music stores. Apple, for example, is charging $17 for N.E.R.D.'s new 12-track Fly or Die album, while Napster charges $14--both higher than the $13.50 Amazon is selling the physical CD for. All five major record labels are also reportedly discussing ways to raise the price of single downloads, from increasing the price anywhere from $1.25 to $2.50, to bundling hot singles with less desirable tracks or charging more for singles of tracks that have not yet been released in stores"

Ho hum. Should we really be surprised?

source: Downloading music gets more expensive MacNN News

No comments: