The average price on iTunes is 7.99 and that's just a pound or two less than what you'd pay if you went and bought the CD from the shop - that's been said time and again, but nontheless, it seems an interesting fact. The question I want to ask (and I'd be grateful for the input of anyone who has some knowledge of the industry)is does this reflect the cost of production?
How easy is it to put your music into digital format - what's the cost? If it costs 9.99 - 12.99 to produce one physical CD (plus profit), how does the price of that break down into revenue for the artist(s), the label, the cost of packaging and so on? I would like to know because that would certainly make it a little clearer as to where your money is going when you download the same music digitally.
Has the cost of producing music en masse become so cheap that studios struggle to make an attractive profit anymore, or is it so expensive, as a result of wide scale illegal downloading, that the price is maintained artificially high?
I went out to buy 'Sisterworld' by Liars last weekend and by God was I miffed to see the packaging on the CD? It's a basic card sleeve for Christ sake! - the type of thing you get with tacky free compilations stuck to The Mail on Sunday. If the cost of this album is still the same as another album in more elaborate packaging, then does that mean that the packaging is relatively cheap and the price is fixed by other factors, or is this just a rip off?
There are cheaper places to download music than iTunes, I know, but I am wondering whether there will ever be a wholesale reduction in the retail price of digital music in the coming years?
Let's have a mature discussion. I'd like to learn something.