$10 Is Still Considerably More Than $0

Somewhere amid all the verbiage on this site (which has recently been imported from another site) you will find the supposition that digital delivery is rapidly reducing “the remunerative value of recorded music to something approaching zero.” The notion is based on basic economics: the “law of supply and demand” suggests that if the supply is infinite, then eventually the price is going to zero, regardless of the demand. We already see that with the nascent emergence of streaming delivery services like Lala.com, Mog, and Spotify, where CDs that once cost $15 can be streamed as many times as a user wants for as little as $1.00.

Universal Music GroupNow, apparently, Universal Music Group (UMG), one of the four (hard to keep track with all the mergers… is it still four?) “major label” conglomerates, announced that it will be reducing the retail price of CDs (which assumes they can still find “retail” outlets for their products…):

NEW YORK (Billboard) – Universal Music Group (UMG) is embarking on one of the most ambitious efforts yet to boost U.S. CD sales, with the test of a new pricing structure designed to sell most new releases by current artists at $10 or less at retail.

Apparently, they’re getting the message, if slowly. What was $15 or $20 is now $10. Soon it will be $1. Then it’s just another small step to…. $0.

The question for the Cohesion Arts constituency is, what does this price reduction mean for the CDs sold at shows? The typical price has been $15, though some are experimenting with $10 and others are experimenting with the “just pay us whatever you think it’s worth” model (often with better results than a fixed price).

My contention is that the music advocated around here is worth a lot more than most of what “the majors” force on the witless masses. I doubt most of what passes for “commercial” music these days is worth even $10 for a disk.