The declining price of recorded music

I recently purchased a second-hand copy of Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin’s tour de force from 1975.

These sell for anything from £1.50 – £8.00 or so on eBay. Mine was the old unremastered release which usually sells at the upper end of the range, as there are fewer of them circulating and some people prefer the sound.

I was interested to find the original sales receipt inside. The double CD was purchased from HMV in Portsmouth in 1993. The price: £22.99.

Prices have risen by about 40% in that time. So £22.99 in 1993 equates to about £32.00 today.

Amazon UK has this CD (remastered) new for £7.97 – 25% of the 1993 price at HMV.

OK, so bricks and mortar shops are more expensive than online, and CDs are often reissued at budget price. So try a new double CD: Bruce Springsteen’s Live in Dublin is £11.98 at Amazon UK, or complete with a DVD at £17.99, still way below the 1993 price.

It is not just the decline in CD sales that is hurting the music industry, but the fact that they are selling for much less money.

2 thoughts on “The declining price of recorded music”

  1. Dear Tim
    I believe the reason for the contined decrease in cd prices is that there is now a deminishing market for many groups. For example, true LZ fans will have all their music. However, I have purchased LZ 1 to 4, each cost me £5 from HMV and Fopp – Fopp now having closed. Some fans will buy a cd to replace an earlier non-remastered version – if the price is right.
    Also, competion from such internet suppliers (Play, cd101, etc) have driven prices down in the “second purchase” market.

    I bought the Mott the H Live Dudes – great cd, but sound quality is basic in some tracks.


  2. Gerry,

    Agreed, but there is also something more fundamental: CD is obsolete technology. I mean, it still has a place, but is now in permanent decline.


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