The Price Is Right?

As both an artist manager and a music marketing consultant, I sometimes find that the two hats which I wear conflict on certain issues. One of those issues is the price of music. The manager in me thinks the price of music is too cheap while the marketing side understands the need to be competitive.

Here are a few things to think about. The price of a single song on iTunes today is .99 cents which just happens to be the same as it was for a cassette single twenty years ago. Twenty years ago a gallon of gas was $1.08, a dozen eggs were .89 cents, and movie tickets were $4.00. Last week my wife and I went to a movie and paid $12/ticket resulting in a $24 purchase for the two of us to be entertained for a couple of hours. On the way home, we purchased gas at $2.70/gallon and bought a dozen eggs for $2.50. This bodes the question “why is the price of music suppressed and not allowed to increase in value?” Do consumers think less of music than a pack of gum, a soda, or a loaf of bread? The answer is sadly a resounding and obvious yes. But why? Is there anything that can be done to change the perceived value of music in the consumer’s mind?

One of the key principles of economics is supply and demand. It appears the supply of music is too great for the demand. I often wonder what would happen if the creators of music stopped production for a while.

What are your thoughts on the price of music?