Well, so Madonna says, but there have been some really interesting things happening in the world of music. I’m not going to go into detail about how I think record labels are going the way of the dinosaur. This post would be way too long. Lets just say that the music industry will continue to change and the record labels missed the boat.
We all know that iTunes has become the biggest retailer for music. I feel they have done this because they made music a commodity, rather then a product. For the first time in history, songs have become disposable. By this I mean that you no longer have to worry about throwing away a physical object. No CD’s, vinyl, cassettes or tapes. You are not destroying the environment by deleting and MP3 (or in iTunes an ACC file). To me it’s brilliant on Apple’s part. If you delete a song and then determine years later you want that song again, you have to rebuy the song. But, this also causes issues when your data gets corrupted and you loose all your files. You can get the songs from iTunes, but from what I hear, it’s not a fun process to go through.
Does this mean the CD is dead? Well, if the record companies are trying hard to make sure this doesn’t happen. Earlier this month Mashable reported that Universal Music Group will be selling all their new CD’s between $6 – $10. Which I must admit, will make me think twice about downloading from iTunes. I am one of those who likes to have the CD. I like the lyrics, liner notes and such. Yes I’m sort of a dichotomy in I love technology and want CD’s. If your information does get corrupted, you have the ability to restore the songs when your iTunes crashes. Because, it’s not a matter of if, but when iTunes will crash. I have had my iTunes Crash more then once and it’s never fun! I say back up or have the CD’s ready!
I think this pricing is catching on to other record labels. I was in Target today and saw that Christine Aguilera’s Greatest Hits was available for $4.99. This is a full album with about 12 songs on it. There is only one other star that has done something similar, that star is Garth Brooks. He has been known to sell his albums at a reduced price. His three disk greatest hits collection (that included two audio disks and one dvd) retailed for about $12.
My question for the mass market is… Will this new pricing model actually get people to buy CDs? Or will people still download? My opinion is that for those who want CD’s this will spur purchase over iTunes, but for most of the market it will remain unchanged.