Music Industry

Published on October 30th, 2017 | by Alan Cross


How Much Has the Price of Music Dropped? This Graphic Explains Everything.

After a lot of research, Cameron Gordon of Completely Ignored has created this graphic showing up much cheaper it is to buy music these days. Click on the image to see the whole thing.


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is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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3 Responses to How Much Has the Price of Music Dropped? This Graphic Explains Everything.

  1. Blake says:

    I worked at a Music World (on the east coast) for most of the 1990s. New releases and titles that were regularly kept in stock in multiple quantities were generally sold between $14.99 to a more common $19.99, depending on list price. Warner, Sony and MCA generally had list prices around $24.99 and Polygram’s were a whopping $27.99 for many of their titles.

    Catalogue stuff (one copy on hand that was reordered through the register as soon as it was sold) was generally just a few dollars below list price, so many catalogue titles were $22.99-$25.99. Catalogue double CDs were commonly sold above $30.

    Conversely, I just bought CD copies of the new St. Vincent and Beck last week at Sunrise at both CDs sold for $12.99 each.

  2. Jay says:

    Problem with the infographic that I noticed right away is that it’s comparing the 1992 sale price of a new/current album to the 2017 price of that same album. So, of course it looks devalued its 25 years old.

    You’d need to compare the selling price of a set of albums, say we compare the price of Fully Completely to Man Machine Poem when it was released last year. Then adjust for inflation. Would probably still see that it’s lower now than before, but its a better comparison.

    I used to work at a music retailer in the early 2000’s and saw sale prices go from $14.99-$19.99 on new releases to $9.99-$14.99 in less than 3 years.

  3. Jay says:

    Correction: compare the price of Fully Completely when released in 1992 adjusted to 2016 dollars, to price of Man Machine Poem when released in 2016.

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