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RIAA Says CDs Should Cost More

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#1 ThePitt


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 14:23

The Recording Industry Association of America hasn't been making too many friends these days. I guess I should say that the organization does have many friends inside the music industry, because that's who makes up the the RIAA.

I'm not here to argue whether it's right or wrong to download free music where it's available, or whether it's OK to listen to your friend's "Beach Boys Greatest Hits Album." I'm just here to point out what the RIAA wants you to believe about the cost of music and CDs.

If you visit the Key Stats/Facts page on the RIAA website, you'll notice a justification for pricing CDs. The biggest argument appears to be the fact that the Consumer Price Index rose nearly 60 percent between 1983 and 1996, even though the price of a CD actually went down. While this might be a true statement, this is virtually worthless in determining how much a CD should cost.

Let's examine this statement, directly from the website:If CD prices had risen at the same rate as consumer prices over this period, the average retail price of a CD in 1996 would have been $33.86 instead of $12.75.

I know that the CPI has risen, but these numbers don't seem to translate properly. So I visited the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data site u>, which contains a CPI Inflation Calculator. Unfortunately, I needed the initial value (of a CD in 1983), instead of the theoretical value in 1996. Since I didn't have that, I just guessed until I came up with $33.86 in 1996. I finally found that value: $21.50.

This means that the RIAA is claiming that the average cost of a CD in 1983 was $21.50. How many CDs have you purchased for more than $20?

True, the CD was new technology at the time, and it's quite possible that the price, in some places, was more than $20. Where the RIAA deviates from basic technology knowledge, however, is that more often than not, the cost of producing something like a CD almost always goes down over time.

What better example of electronics getting cheaper than taking a look at the history of the calculator. From the website listed above, Texas Instruments came out with a calculator in 1972 (TI-2500) that cost $119.95 (actually, the suggested retail price was $149.99). If we take a look at the CPI inflation calculator, using the calculator cost and a 13-year span, from 1972 to 1985 (the same time length the RIAA used), we see that the calculator should have cost about $308.77 in 1985.

Maybe this isn't fair, considering the time periods are different. So I'll try $119.95 in 1983, and the value in 1996 is $188.96.

How much do you think a calculator that could do only basic math functions (add, subtract, divide, multiply) was worth in 1996? By 1981, Texas Instruments had already developed a model that included more functionality for $19.99. Granted, the technology involving calculators and CDs are vastly different. My point is that when you are in the technology world, most of your products, with the same level of functionality, do not get more expensive.

The CPI is useful for looking at the prices of raw material, grocery items, etc. Sorry RIAA, but buying a CD isn't like buying a bushel of Korn.


#2 +mrbester


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:01

RIAA = bull**** artists
When CDs first came out there was the usual "oh, they'll come down in price" burble. Irrespective of inflation (to hell with Consumer Price Indices, they mean nothing to the actual consumer) they haven't. An example is Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds double CD. When it came out it was about £25 (80s). Until recently it wasstill> £25. I only got one because there was a sale at £15 which is the only true reduction in price. For those who think "lamer buying WotW", the same applies to Pink Floyd's The Wall, Ummagumma, etc. Whilst £25 today is less than it was 20 years ago the reduction in manufacturing costs far outweighs the depreciation of currency, meaning they get more profit now than they did on the item. And they wantincrease the price? Watch everybody not buying.

#3 Xero


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:05

Naturally they want it to cost more, otherwise how else will they make so much profit. I'm glad they can't do **** in Canada.

#4 TheNay


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:10

Naturally they want it to cost more, otherwise how else will they make so much profit. I'm glad they can't do **** in Canada.

We have the CRIA, which is like the RIAA, so it could happen.
Plus were affiliated with the WTO (World Trade Organization).

Buying CD's are stupid nowadays, iTunes and other sorts are better.
Besides on the average CD there's only a few good songs usually.

#5 Xero


    Steve Grenier

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:15

^^ But our organization isn't money hungry ###### who sue every little kid for having an illegal song ;) But I still like buying cd's its nice having the actual physical cd.

#6 DanManIt


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:21

Blasphemy. If anything CDs should be cheaper. Giving the consumers more reason to go out and buy the CD instead of pirating it.

#7 Toastyone


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:23

I hardly ever get cds I just buy the music on itunes.....

#8 NienorGT


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:24

RIAA says that I should pirate more...
Seriously, how I can buy music legally if I don't have the money to buy them because it cost too much?

#9 Ferret


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:47

Well, if they increase the price of CD's again, then you'll find more piracy !!!

iTunes made songs abit more affordable, and they sell millions !

#10 alsheron



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Posted 07 February 2007 - 15:47

RIAA says that I should pirate more...
Seriously, how I can buy music legally if I don't have the money to buy them because it cost too much?

You'll have to get by without music. Sheesh, people go on like music is water. You don't need it, you just want it. And last time I checked, if you want something, you usually have to pay for it or steal it. And therein lies your choice. Boycotting these bastards is the only way forward, because then they will take note and behave like good crocodiles (maybe).

#11 .Kompressor


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 16:12

pffft! to hell with those imperialist minded jerks.

#12 Hum


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 16:26

I wouldn't mind paying $2 a song, IF I can hear the songs first, and only pay for the songs I really like, and not the crappy ones on an album. :pinch:

#13 +M2Ys4U


    Your friendly neighbourhood Pirate!

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 16:51

Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, RIAA...

#14 DeathGod



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Posted 07 February 2007 - 16:57

The RIAA Has Moral Issues

#15 Jason S.

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 17:40

im still convinced there's a deeper agenda to the MPAA and RIAA, but i cant pinpoint it yet. they spend more money on lawsuits than they would get from stopping piracy... it doesnt make sense... and scare tactics only work on some. millions of people have downloaded a song illegally... idk, just doesnt add up to me. and now they seem to want to raise prices? how is that justified? that, again, makes no sense.