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Record industry man says albums should cost £1

October 15, 2010

The price of albums should be slashed to around £1, a former major record label boss has suggested. Rob Dickins, who ran Warner Music in the UK for 15 years, said ‘radically’ lowering prices would help beat piracy and lead to an exponential sales rise. Mr Dickins was in charge of the label from 1983-98, working with acts like Madonna, REM and Simply Red.

Read the full story here:
Album price ‘should drop to £1’

Chris Cooke, editor of music industry newsletter CMU, predicted that the major labels would ‘resist it hugely’.

‘It is a gamble,’ he said. ‘Once you’ve slashed the price of an album you can’t really go back. It’s a big risk and the record companies will resist it. But he’s not alone, outside the record companies, in saying perhaps that is the future.’

The slowness of the music industry to catch on to what happens out here in the real world is staggering. Many people have been saying this for many years; it is the self-evidently true result of the invention of the internet and digital music files. An economic model built upon the scarcity of a product and the control of that product’s distribution networks cannot survive in a net-based digital economy.

If the big labels want to survive (and I hope they don’t, actually) they need to improve their crappy products and make them available much, much cheaper. Then they just might find a niche in the modern music economy.

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