Author Topic: The price of CDs  (Read 7317 times)

mgriffin

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The price of CDs
« on: March 18, 2010, 11:03:29 AM »
I know we've discussed this from slightly different angles before, but usually the question has been mixed-in with other issues (CD versus CDR, piracy, the effect of free downloads, etc.) so here I'd like to make my question very specific.

How much does the price of a CD affect your willingness to buy?  Is there a price below which you would be more likely to purchase a CD?  Is there an even lower price point at which you would view the CD purchase almost as an impulse buy?

For myself as a music consumer (taking off my label owner for a moment), $16 and up represents "too high" and $12-14 represents sort of a normal, mid-point price, while CDs $10 and less seem cheap enough that I'm willing to take a bit more of a chance, and a CD as low as $6-7 is cheap enough I'd pick it up on impulse, without much consideration.

Hypnos CDs have usually been $12.99 for a pressed CD or $11.99 for a CDR in a slimline case.  More recently we've tried $9.99 for CDR in slimline cases and $10.99 for a pressed disc in a paper sleeve.

I've considered trying out an extra-low-price release just to see what would happen, maybe even in a jewel case or a digipak.  What would people think about that?  I mean, obviously cheaper is better, but how many of you would actually be more likely to try the music for a price $3 or $5 lower?
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APK

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 12:20:25 PM »
Thought I'd say a few words, though I'm perhaps not yer ideal buying public.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some general stats, in our genre, about albums sales in relation to price.

Personally, I balk at $16 and above for a single album. In the end I want the music, not the packaging, and a disk at $16 and above is excessive. (Though of course I know some people see the packaging as important, and maybe the album as an investment for selling later.)

But once we are down in the $12 - $13 range I have no problem buying a reasonably packaged album if I like the music. I'd expect a case with an insert of some kind. Its in this range that a label like Infraction offers an exceptionally polished product.

Once the price drops beneath $12 I would still only be interested if the music were very much to my liking. The difference between $9 and $12 is fairly irrelevant.

Beneath $9 I'd assume a minimal package where the disk is the main component. At a certain price point I'd begin to miss a bit of decent packaging and be wondering why I don't just buy a good quality download of the album.

Of course, I'd be happy with a nicely finished digipak at under $12, but I'd still be focusing on the quality of the music as a buying criterion, not the packaging. So I'd not be lowering my standard of taste just because its cheaper. About the only place I lower standards is when its a free download ... I will check things out, and readily delete stuff after.

These days I buy a whole lot more downloads than I do physical albums. (And I'm amazed at the stupidly high prices some labels charge for downloads.)
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 12:21:48 PM »
It all depends on the music.  I bought a remastered copy of KISS first lp because it was $5.00 at Walmart.  I really doubt if I would have paid more for it.  I bought a copy of The Architects "Vice" recently for $10 and would have paid more for it because they are a recently new, working touring and independent band.

I wouldn't feel right selling a CD-R disc for more than $10, even the 6 hour MP3 discs.  I actually tell other musicians who are interested that I'd rather trade than sell.  (All three of them.)

From a long time buyer of music, cheaper is never better when indie.  It doesn't matter to me.  But cheaper is necessary when it's a supper big time boss hit bound corporate production.  I know you would really like to move the discs and get them heard, but if someone is going to "try the music", they will probably go for a download for $0.99.

It's a specific question, but not a specific answer.
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drone on

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 05:18:38 PM »
Before the online revolution complete with sound samples, I would take chances on stuff and price would weigh somewhat on my decision.  But these days being able to sample music first eliminates a whole lot of wasted purchases.  So, because something's cheaper doesn't necessarily mean I'd be more apt to buy it.  I've always thought CD's/CDR's were ridiculously expensive anyways, especially the mass marketed popular kind.  In this day and age of downloads, can't believe stores are still charging $17 and $18 for single discs (no wonder there're virtually no record stores anymore).  On the other hand, price does weigh somewhat on my decision sometimes, based on how badly I want that item (i.e. if it's at the top of my want list).  Also, even though I still buy CD's, I'm reconsidering the download option to save money and space in my home.  ;D

cromag

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 09:19:35 PM »
I buy maybe one or two CDs a year that cost more than $12.  I buy a few CDs in the "$5 to $12" range every year.  I don't really think too hard before buying used CDs for less than $5 at the Princeton Record Exchange or one of the local thrift stores (I visit Good Will and the Salvation army stores a couple times a month) -- although I'll pass if the CD looks beat.

I'd love to buy a CD in a paper envelope cheap and then download and print up the inserts for myself.  For a CD-R I'd just as soon download and burn my own, if that's an option -- I put good burners in my computer and buy very good blanks for stuff I want to keep.

EDIT: On reflection, maybe downloading the inserts wouldn't be the best option, since a pirate would get the music illegally and then download the artwork.  Maybe the CD could come with a code that would trigger the download or get the artwork emailed?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 11:25:34 PM by cromag »
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Mark Mushet

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 11:37:32 PM »
I'm fine with anything between $12 and $20 (cdn) as long as it's a pressed CD and decently packaged. Will go to $25 for some deluxe editions or rarer, short run releases. Not a fan of deep discount stuff.


APK

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 06:30:41 AM »
EDIT: On reflection, maybe downloading the inserts wouldn't be the best option, since a pirate would get the music illegally and then download the artwork.  Maybe the CD could come with a code that would trigger the download or get the artwork emailed?

Yes, I think this is why many labels don't hand out print quality graphics
with their downloads ... just leads to pirated albums selling at a few dollars
in countries we shall not mention.

For Dataobscura I have emailed good quality graphics to regular customers
who have wanted to print their own. No problem there.
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hdibrell

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2010, 04:15:18 PM »

For myself as a music consumer (taking off my label owner for a moment), $16 and up represents "too high" and $12-14 represents sort of a normal, mid-point price, while CDs $10 and less seem cheap enough that I'm willing to take a bit more of a chance, and a CD as low as $6-7 is cheap enough I'd pick it up on impulse, without much consideration.

I agree. Anything over $15 would have to be something I really want. Anything below $10 I would be very likely to take a chance on. Something in the $6-7 dollar range I would probably load up on. Like most people, I try to budget my CD purchases, so lower priced CD's or CDR's would definitely get me trying more releases. That being said, I have always thought that Hypnos releases are a very reasonably priced.
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uhurit

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2010, 05:23:19 PM »
The lowest price new cd purchased @ Soleilmoon for $5.99, I think (...and was junk)
The highest price ever paid was around $30.00 for something by Coil, back in the days
It's all about the perceived value.

Seren

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2010, 04:53:00 AM »
What do you guys across the Pond consider when buying music from this side of the world - how does the exchange rate affect the prices and what you might shell out for?

When I see low dollars mentioned I know it's even lower pounds over here.

I suppose I pay whatever I think an album is worth to me. I have not gone in for collecables for many years but did buy a TG bootleg on vinyl for Ģ30, in the late 70's. When my pristine collection of Hawkwind albums, with all the booklets and outfold covers was nicked I did consider paying out to get them again.....

Often Prices I see in USA become the same in pounds when on sale in europe....exchange rate can make buying music seem very expensive.

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2010, 02:57:13 PM »
What do you guys across the Pond consider when buying music from this side of the world - how does the exchange rate affect the prices and what you might shell out for?

Often Prices I see in USA become the same in pounds when on sale in europe....exchange rate can make buying music seem very expensive.

Europeans are getting dicked on prices. In Oslo, a mile from where many ECM classics were recorded, I saw prices double that for which I could get an ECM release in Vancouver. That's an indication something's seriously wrong.

zzzone.net

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2010, 05:00:19 PM »
Although I still purchase significant physical product, I open the cover, rip it to FLAC, put it back in the cover, and doubt that I will ever touch it again...barring files on 2-4 hard drives being wiped and bac-kup DVDs being destroyed.

I predict that as the home music server takes its place in more and more homes, my experience will be more common among you.

You can see where I'm going...

Just give me the lossless files with the high-res art work.

This will save the artist, the label and the distributor with the costs of the physical product.

This will add the costs of digital distribution.

This will save me the resources necessary to store the physical product, and the time to transfer the files to FLAC or whatever.  This might save me some money if some of the savings to the artist, label and distributor are passed onto me.

You might say this will increase the cost of backing-up these files, but I'm already doing that.

To repeat: just give me the lossless files with the high-resolution artwork.

Reasonable price for an album?  I dunno.  Maybe $7-10?

Timeline?  Can't happen soon enough.

I've been in conversations with several independent labels about this, and I even called in and spoken over the air on the NPR show "Sound Opinions" about digital distribution with FLAC files.

Jim

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 12:18:25 PM »
What do you guys across the Pond consider when buying music from this side of the world - how does the exchange rate affect the prices and what you might shell out for?

When I see low dollars mentioned I know it's even lower pounds over here.

I suppose I pay whatever I think an album is worth to me. I have not gone in for collecables for many years but did buy a TG bootleg on vinyl for Ģ30, in the late 70's. When my pristine collection of Hawkwind albums, with all the booklets and outfold covers was nicked I did consider paying out to get them again.....

Often Prices I see in USA become the same in pounds when on sale in europe....exchange rate can make buying music seem very expensive.
As a US resident, it is very disheartening to have to pay between $25 and $30 for one CD when I buy direct from Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, etc.  And unfortunately a large amount of music I'm interested in purchasing is from those countries and in Euros, which is a terrible exchange rate for USD.  Also, when you end up paying 6 Euro for shipping, that's about $10.  I can ship one CD to Europe for about $5 or $6.  Then again, considering other artists, especially visual, sell their works for hundreds or thousands of dollars, it's really nothing to complain about I guess.   

modulator_esp

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 02:19:07 PM »
I very rarely worry about the cost of a CD if it's something I want

I am more easily tempted to try stuff if it is less expensive and quite like bulk purchase offers

I would never not buy something because it was too cheap

ffcal

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 10:01:29 PM »
Timeline?  Can't happen soon enough.

I'm at the other end.  I generally won't buy a new release without a package, unless it is the only available format or I'm only testing the waters with a less expensive version.  I find archiving releases in mp3 format that are not keepers a useful way to keep the size of my collection under control.  When people stop buying the physical format, I'll probably stop releasing altogether.

Forrest

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2010, 02:13:16 AM »
What do you guys across the Pond consider when buying music from this side of the world - how does the exchange rate affect the prices and what you might shell out for?

When I see low dollars mentioned I know it's even lower pounds over here.

I suppose I pay whatever I think an album is worth to me. I have not gone in for collecables for many years but did buy a TG bootleg on vinyl for Ģ30, in the late 70's. When my pristine collection of Hawkwind albums, with all the booklets and outfold covers was nicked I did consider paying out to get them again.....

Often Prices I see in USA become the same in pounds when on sale in europe....exchange rate can make buying music seem very expensive.
As a US resident, it is very disheartening to have to pay between $25 and $30 for one CD when I buy direct from Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, etc.  And unfortunately a large amount of music I'm interested in purchasing is from those countries and in Euros, which is a terrible exchange rate for USD.  Also, when you end up paying 6 Euro for shipping, that's about $10.  I can ship one CD to Europe for about $5 or $6.  Then again, considering other artists, especially visual, sell their works for hundreds or thousands of dollars, it's really nothing to complain about I guess.   

Shipping rates and exchange rates are a devastating factor in this as they add enormously to the price of a single CD(R). Alas, most clients are not willing or able to take this into consideration as they have to pay their bills in US$ while I have to pay mine in Euro.

Unfortunately, Iīm not one of those labels with a solid fanbase of, say, 200 or 300 immediate orders from clients once an album is released so that thereīs all production costs covered in an instant. If I had this, I could -- like some of my fellow colleagues do -- calculate a little differently and ship CDs for free but I canīt. "Undercapitalized" they call it, I think :).

On the other hand, it has become so easy and convenient to order CDs overseas... thinking back twenty years ago when I sent some Dollar bills in an envelope across The Big Pond in order to get some music from Steve Roach or Michael Garrison that was otherwise unavailable over here... at that time we were complaining about how time-consuming it was, today we complain about how expensive everything has become. Thereīs always a price to be paid.

Stephen

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hdibrell

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2010, 01:06:48 PM »
"On the other hand, it has become so easy and convenient to order CDs overseas... thinking back twenty years ago when I sent some Dollar bills in an envelope across The Big Pond in order to get some music from Steve Roach or Michael Garrison that was otherwise unavailable over here... at that time we were complaining about how time-consuming it was, today we complain about how expensive everything has become. Thereīs always a price to be paid."                                                                                                                              That is so true. I sometimes forget about how difficult it used to be. Sometime back in the late '70's I ordered a Traffic import album from England. It took 2 months for me to get it and cost a lot. Today, I order something from across the pond and it cost a bit more than local orders and it arrives fairly quickly. Really not that much of a problem to me.
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doombient

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2010, 03:04:19 PM »
"On the other hand, it has become so easy and convenient to order CDs overseas... thinking back twenty years ago when I sent some Dollar bills in an envelope across The Big Pond in order to get some music from Steve Roach or Michael Garrison that was otherwise unavailable over here... at that time we were complaining about how time-consuming it was, today we complain about how expensive everything has become. Thereīs always a price to be paid."                                                                                                                              That is so true. I sometimes forget about how difficult it used to be. Sometime back in the late '70's I ordered a Traffic import album from England. It took 2 months for me to get it and cost a lot. Today, I order something from across the pond and it cost a bit more than local orders and it arrives fairly quickly. Really not that much of a problem to me.


This is what has got lost on the way, the longing for something. I remember going to our local record shop after school every day for weeks, asking whether the eagerly awaited import album (I think it was "The Blob" by Michael Hoenig) had arrived in the meantime. It hadnīt, and at some point I was told it was no longer available, weīre sorry. I kept looking for it, and guess how happy I was when I found a copy of it in a tiny record shop in Hamburg.

I think this feeling of appreciation has got lost on the way because everything is available in an instant (which is a good thing, but...), and "hey, even though itīs instantly available, it still costs money while such a lot on the net is available for free!" Of course this instant-gratification habit is also mirrored by the record-buying public. And of course we mustnīt forget that global economy has shifted since. So many factors... so little words.

Stephen
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Seren

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2010, 03:53:43 PM »
There was an article on locel news today - Welsh assembly has been paying for a number of children at school (about 10 - 11 yrs old) to have laptops.

The opening presentation of these computers involved the children in the class doing a live maths competition with children in Australia.

Christ, when I was a kid other parts of the UK were far far away. Now young children are growing up with australia only a keytap away....Got to affect how they see the world and what they can get/do in it.

I'm sure we have touched on the search for music and the sweet feeling of finding that hard to get album in other threads. I too think this is dissapearing (or at least going underground) in the current cultural climate....

hdibrell

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Re: The price of CDs
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2010, 09:36:03 PM »
Yes, I think that is one of the problems with progress. There are so many benefits. I think of what I have at my disposal now , compared to when I was young and I don't want to do without it. On the other hand, I miss what used to be and is disappearing. Oh well, I watched "The Seven Samurai" tonight. It was fun going back in time and remembering watching it in Japan as a child without subtitles. I was still hooked.  8)
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