Music Industry CEO Asks If iTunes Killed The Album



Over the course of the last few years, the music industry has been struggling to cope with the way iTunes single-handedly changed the way music was consumed, from albums to $0.99 singles.

But is this earth change in the music industry simply due to iTunes’ ability to allow users to purchase just the songs they want, or could pricing fix the problem?

According to Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne, speaking at the New Music Seminar this week, the real thing killing the album is that $9.99 for an album doesn’t offer a significant discount over the per unit price of a $0.99 song, while historically, consumers have gotten a better deal on albums versus singles.

“Historically, the price of an album was five times greater than a single,” said Silverman, who believes setting the price at a tenth of an album’s cost was a mistake and that even $1.29 is too low. “It should’ve been a $1.99, and then we would’ve seen higher digital album sales because it would’ve been a bigger discount for buying an album.

The good news for album fans like me is that the $9.99 price of albums is slowly but surely making some headway: 14% of all Universal Music’s digital sales these days are for complete albums. iTunes hasn’t necessarily killed the album… it’s just put it in semi-hibernation.

  • Karl Malloy

    The best single price is obvious – it was the $2.99-$3.99 that CD singles and cassette singles were sold for.  Music industry execs lost in negotiations to the smarter folks at Apple.  If you apply the $3-4 per song to your graph above you get… isoprofit!!!

  • Tommy

    Steve Jobs – what a dooooooche.  I believe he actually does like music (and the music industry) and he thought he was doing everyone a favor by organizing music HIS WAY.  Well guess what…….

    His experiment has turned out to be a gigantic loser and he’s caused a lot of damage with HIS experiment.

    In the old days, there was a thriving “music-distribution” industry.  This was your neighborhood record store — which became your neighborhood CD store….

    Apparently old’ steve-O didn’t like to go to stores.  He wanted to sit on his ass and download compressed dog-sheeit MP3s into his headphones thru his skanky little macintosh.   I could go on and on about what this bozo envisioned, but the fact is —

    He destroyed a whole industry — that old business is dead and he killed it.  Which would be OK – except for the fact that he killed it with an idea that is proving to be a non-profit.  There’s a zero-sum game and a zero-it-out-completely game.  Dick-boy Jobs has come up with the latter.  His frickin iTunes will Never Be Profitable.  Never.  He destroyed an industry (that was fun) with an idea that is crap, and will never be profitable.  That’s sick.   That’s very sick.

    This evening I listened to some old music from the days before Jobs got in there with his compressed MP3 crapola,  and  I remembered how music used to be…. And after this experience, I’m now very sure it won’t be long till we get back to those good old days.  iTunes just needs to go completely broke for this to happen…. and it seems clear — that IS going to happen very soon.   So no need to fear — the JOBs anal-music experiment will be over soon, and hopefully AAPL will come crashing in on itself.  I can’t wait for that to happen!!!

  • Mike Williams

    I don’t want to disagree with you, but I do not think iTunes is going anywhere anytime soon