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Some claim that the reason music piracy is so prevalent is because the cost of music is so high (especially when the actual CD production costs are so low - a cursory look suggests it's less than $0.10 per CD, including case, inserts, etc. for big manufacturers). If you were a music executive, seeing your profits decreasing due to piracy and trying to figure out how you beat zero as a price point, what would you do? Do you think the following proposal will reduce piracy and increase music business profits? Art is considered a luxury good, which means that it has high income elasticity of demand. As music is a form of art, does pricing it as a commodity reduce the value of the art? Would you start buying music again if the albums were £1?


Would musicians make more money selling more copies of albums at a fraction of the current price? Or does dirt-cheap music simply devalue the product art?

The former head of Warner Music in the UK, Rob Dickins, threw some gasoline onto this burning question last week at a music conference. Dickins suggested that albums should go for as little as £1, or just a bit more than the current iTunes price for individual tracks.

In his view, the key is to make music purchases a no-brainer - an impulse purchase. The idea is that even those with some casual interest in a band might snap up a new release when priced at a buck or two. Keep the price at $7-10 for a digital download, though, and suddenly people have to prioritize; do I get the new Belle & Sebastian album or the new Sufjan Stevens album? At a low enough price, the correct answer is, "I'll buy both!"

...who would even bother to pirate music at those prices?

The BBC, which covered Dickins' appearance, interviewed another music manager who complained about downgrading the value of art. "Right now if you buy a bottle of water it's £1," said Jonathan Shalit. "A piece of music is a valuable form of art. If you want the person to respect it and value it, it's got to cost them not a huge sum of money but a significant sum of money."

Former music label boss: beat piracy by selling albums for £1


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Oct 23, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=358

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