Are CD Prices Getting More Dynamic?

Thursday, August 04, 2005 | 06:49 AM

One of the more interesting items we've discussed has been the different pricing strategies that studios use with DVDs versus what the labels do with CDs.

The studios, to their credit, use a form of dynamic pricing -- they intelligently recognize that a content item's value is highest when first released, and then subsequently fades. That's why DVD prices come down over time, to capture those marginal buyers. The consumers who will not pay $49.99 for Seinfeld Season 1 & 2, might pay $29.99.

The labels have mostly avoided this strategy -- but perhaps that's changing. I had just finished reading a post about Amazon's conference call, and on it Amazon's management discussed their Long Tail strategy. I went over to the site, and thru some random clicking and scrolling, noticed this little tidbit:   a long list of interesting CDs for sale on Amazon for between $6 and $10:

Blowout Music Bargains
As Low as $9.99
As Low as $8.99
As Low as $7.99
As Low as $5.99

I ran thru the entire $9.99 list, and was surprised to see quite a few names worth buying (I have yet to go thru the other lists). I am waiting to hear back from Amazon as to whether this is a new pricing policy, a discount from labels, a loss leader, or a mere inventory clear out.

Here's my short list of favorite moderate priced CDs off of the Amazon sale:

  • : On And On

    On And On This is a fabulous album; Recall I first mentioned Jack Johnson in December

  • : Stripped

    Stripped -- an under appreciated stone album

  • : Tattoo You

    Tattoo You the same -- kicked  off the modern Stones, and it rocks

Thursday, August 04, 2005 | 06:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



The $6 list is pretty thin (I have a real soft spot for Steven Wright, but that's about it), but the $8 one ain't half bad. You have a few greatest-hits fillers, your Nick Drake studio LPs, and a whole buncha classics from the Velvet Underground to Public Enemy. You could do worse than buying the whole lot.

Of course, they should still be priced at $3 each rather than $8, but that's just off the top of my head.

Posted by: wcw | Aug 4, 2005 10:28:10 AM

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