The Price Of Music : Should Those Who Buy More, Pay Less?

Here’s a thought as I travel home on the tube. I’ve always stolen music because I could never afford to buy all that I wanted. However, the guy who doesn’t really care for music has always been able to afford all that he wants. Surely there’s a way to make that right?

You’re an artist with 6 albums. Would you rather a) I spend £18 buying all of them at £3 each or b) I buy two of them at £9 each, and then steal the others?

Answer? a) Because the artist has control of what I’m buying, and can make contact with me six times rather than twice, increasing the chance that’ll I’ll buy more on impulse.

This argument also works if you replace the word ‘artist’ with ‘label’.

In fact, you can also replace ‘artist’ and ‘albums’ with ‘publisher’ and ‘books’, or ‘newspaper’ and ‘articles’, or ‘TV network’ and ‘series’, or ‘pimp’ and ‘hooker’. It all works.

But how do you stop the guy who doesn’t care for music buying his two albums per year for £3 each?

Answer? You don’t give him the option.

This is the subsciption model, and it was not previously possible due to the costs of distribution, which have now vanished.

This is also why I love my account with eMusic. I buy albums here for approximately £3 each, rather than £8 on iTunes. The catch? I’m obliged to buy 50 tracks a month, and if I don’t I can’t carry my entitlement over to the next month. I’m FORCED to consume music, and I love it. We WANT to consume everything, but do we actually do it? Of course not. eMusic make money from those that don’t use their full entitlement.

Why are there so few subscription services with so few catches? Can someone please sort it out?

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