How much should an album cost?

Fast Company has coverage of The City music conference, where Rob Dickens, the former head of Warner Music in the UK argues that the success of the MP3 single necessitates radically slashing album prices.

Dickens’ theory is albums should cost about $1.50 to increase impulse purchases and combat piracy.  Interestingly, he predicts that major albums could go on to sell 200 million albums – or double what Michael Jackson’s Thriller sold.

Read the story and look at the graph between album sales and individual track sales.    You can pretty much see the rise of iTunes.

As someone who is an unabashed fan of albums, I love the idea.  I don’t buy music singles and I don’t even really make playlists – I buy and listen to an artist’s whole album at the time.  And I also agree with the price – the bulk of my impulse music purchases are Amazon deals – either daily deals for $3 – $4 or one of the hundred $5 albums they rotate monthly.

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