RIAA says music CD should cost more, much more

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.

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once again you people are all slow

all this is.. has nothing do to with this

its to distract from apple

jobs said drm was stupid

and everyone is ****ed off

cds dont have drm

thats why they dont make money

the only reason they are releasing this article now is because they want people to ignore apple

jobs just said, hey, 99% of music on ipod's is not drm, its ripped from cds, legal or otherwise (canada its alll legal)
so.. why drm 1% when the 99 isnt?

thats where piracy comes from
raise prices, raise piracy

jobs just CLOSED his drm, to make people use ipods... BUT he didnt WANT drm.. he HAS to have it legally, so IF he has it is logical that he makes only his music work on his players

you want no drm

buy the cds

that simple

forget this.. its just slander to get us to forget job's comments

Maybe they should cut lawyers, executivtes, advertising, radio station bribing, limos, $10/bottle drinking water for the "artists", catered-food over-producing the songs, 500k music video budgets, need I add more ... from the costs of makeing an album.

Several of my favorite artists (all time) are on smaller Indie labels. And they're internationally acclaimed. No fancy budgets.

Interesting none brought this up already!

the Consumer Price Index rose nearly 60 percent between 1983 and 1996, even though the price of a CD actually went down.

Didnt they and/or some other part of the music industry get popped for price fixing many years ago? I would imagine thats the biggest reason why we're not at $30-$50.

Ah a traditional case of Apple logic, when the majority of your cutomers have the means ot get msuic for free raise the prices! Now the funny thing here is even if the price was raised the artists who made the music would still be payed jack s***.

Whether you're a new musician who can't pay rent or a dead person being sued by them I think I speak for everyone when I say F*** the the RIAA!

RIAA Friends? Bah! the only thing they get right is track numbers!
It's plain obvious that they are trying to "Make The Consumer On Their Side" to make them buy more CD's.
Though If they don't buy CD's They'll illigally download, And If they're caught..

Meh. It's a lose - lose Situation.

I'm part of a Micro label who's idea is that digital media is the wave of the future. We've seen digital sales go up more and more over the years. We look at CD's as a necessary evil at this point. The facts are in, by the end of this year, there will have been over 45 Million units sold digitally. Digital is the way to go. even car manufacturers are catching on. They're making the stereo's in their cars able to dock iPods and other MP3 players. The days of the big labels running the show are quickly coming to a close, unless they don't start adhearing to the way the musicians want things done. I'm sure you all know that most artists make almost nothing on the sale of a CD. They make their real money in a show. The label keeps almost all the profits from the sale of a CD. For each one sold the artists see's something like .09 cents. it costs roughly $1.50 for the production and shipping of a single CD when you break it down. So, take that $1.59 and subtract it from the CD cost. The retailer sees a little mroe than the artist does too! The label makes the most and do you know what their excuse is? That is to recoup the money they invested in the band/artist for production/promotion. They claim they sink 1 Million into each artist generally.

Honestly, this is the RIAA trying to make up for loss of monies to digital services like iTunes and in reality what they don't realize is that by doing so, they're shooting themselves in the foot. Very few people will be willing to pay $30 for 60 minutes worth of music when they can go on iTunes and buy the tracks they want for .99 cents, upload to their iPod and take it anywhere they go.

Then let's look at the artist point of view. Why should I get on with a major label when I can be with a micro label and send my music out practically for no cost to myself and mak a profit? Or even ebtter, do it all myself. It's not hard to get started on your own and do this with no label. Register with ASCAP, BMI or, SEASAC and sign up with a digital distributor such as IODA and get your music out there. Who then makes the larger profit from sales? Me or some big wig tellin me how my music should be instead of letting me be the artist I want to be.

Sorry RIAA, get your act together or get out. My music will never be owned by you.

Does RIAA( think they are gaming company? they think there cd worh 30 to 50 bucks? heh ARE YOU ****ING NUTS? this company should die honestly man why people don't see this greedy **** oh wait maybe because supporter are greedy just like them and some artist and record label that riaa represented are greedy ****ers too.

whatever.. they ain't getting one penny out of me. **** them.. I could live without music or maybe pick up piano or something make my own tone.

Ugh... why don't we just outsource our musicians to India so we can get some tunes at decent prices... after hearing the newest Justin Timberlake and K-Fed releases, the Bhangra isn't so bad afterall... the problem is not so much with the RIAA, ok it is, but also with the fact that most American musicians are talentless asswipes look for cash to go blow at all night LA and NY night clubs, wtf should I care if they need an extra million here and there.

Budious said,
Ugh... why don't we just outsource our musicians to India so we can get some tunes at decent prices... after hearing the newest Justin Timberlake and K-Fed releases, the Bhangra isn't so bad afterall... the problem is not so much with the RIAA, ok it is, but also with the fact that most American musicians are talentless asswipes look for cash to go blow at all night LA and NY night clubs, wtf should I care if they need an extra million here and there.

I see your point, but it's the record labels and the producers that get the most cash out of singers/musicians/bands. And guess what, they (record labels) are the ones who are represented by RIAA.

The Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) is a trade group that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of a large number of private corporate entities such as record labels and distributors, who create and distribute about 90% of recorded music sold in the US. It is involved in a series of controversial copyright-infringement legal actions on behalf of its members.


Who needs a CD now anyway?

Start selling MP3 CD's or something. This way you just go home and copy them to a computer. I honestly didn't think in year 2000 that seven years later I would still need to use cd-ripping software.

Seriously though, this is how I listen to music:

on a airplane: mp3 player/laptop
at home: mp3 files on my computer through SPDIF out to receiver.
in a car: mp3 player (many new cars come with built in HDD and almost all new models have AUX-IN for mp3 players)
walking/running/biking: mp3 player

As much as I don't like iTunes, legally purchased and downloadable mp3s is the way to go imho.

"When the lie's so big, the truth gets forgotten and the facts dissapear" - a line from a Frank Zappa song. I used to work for a Borders store in Scotland. Three years ago we read the most amazing bull after one particular Christmas where in fact DVD sales soared and CD sales, while not showing a corrosponding surge, were nonewhere near as bad as the industry was saying, and that despite the fact that consumers are of course now more discriminating in what multimedia/computer based entertainment they buy; Borders in fact reduced their CD range so as to increase their DVD range. It's basic supply and demand ecconomics. The industry needs to be talking about greatly reducing the price rather than indulging in self sabotage and alienating an increasingly frustrated consumer and the artists themselves.

When I was a kid there was great excitement about CDs and a tendency to overlook that sound quality didn't come close to that of a well mastared LP record on a decent midrange turntable. Though that changed the sound is still not as was promised - 'Perfect sound - forever' - for that you have to look to DVD audio and SACD. One deeply annoying lie we were told was that once the industry had recouped development costs, the price of CDs would tumble (and quite right too; the CD medium was reliable, meaning a low volume of faulty product and returns, a saving that should have been passed on to the long suffering customer). That didn't happen, or at least not for a long, long time. It costs peanuts to run off CDs these days and peanuts is what many of the artists get while the consumer is grotestquely overcharged for an outdated, substandard, cheaply and badly packaged medium that encourages resentment and, unfortunately, piracy. Piracy is in large part down to substandard packaging and has been for a long time; the inudstry keeps pooping out the same product, on which you can have variation and still have it fit CD racks, though lack of decent sleeve notes is ever a problem. In short, when's the last time you or I gasped: "Cool packaging!" Most of the people I have met who nominally pirate don't have the money to buy the product anyway, the unemployed and so on, or are kids with nominal pocket money. In a way they are offering free exposure to people who do have money and how rarely listen to a radio, and the RIAA should be looking at ways of capitalising on that with cool packaging, bonus offers and features. Meantime, I would urge people, if the facility is available, to download direct from our favourite artists themselves.

oh yea, so the riaa says that. lets go.
...to make downloading illegally even more attractive.
THE way, the ONLY way to go. yes, yes.

what makes this so funny is that they are charging $10 or $12 a CD for technology that is coming up on being 30 years old. Can you imagine paying $30 for a VHS today?

Ha ha ha, that's a great way to keep pirates at bay

Besides being an absolutely stupid idea it's not even logical. Just because over all consumer prices went up doesn't mean everything has to. Look at Wal-Mart who continues to lower prices. Or, an even better example, computers and computer parts. These prices have come way down over the years, not up. And CDs are less expensive to make now than when they first came out. Much less expensive.

Buying music on CDs is now such a paradox because on the one hand you want to support your artists (pay for music) but you also want to take a stand against the RIAA (pirate music). You can only do one or the other but not both.

I've been on a rant for so long that downloading music is wrong but comapred to shelling out money that you know goes to the RIAA maybe its the lesser of 2 evils?

I'd be much, much more inclined to continue purchasing music on CDs if I knew that the RIAA got $0 and more went to the artists.

Someone should start a grassroots campaign against them. SavetheInternet.com worked extremely well, so why can't SavetheMusic.


They're not happy when people pirate it.
They're not happy when people buy it.
They're not happy when people don't buy it.


**** off RIAA.

Whatever happened to real terms? Presumably the guys at the RIAA got their fiscal qualifications at the Robert Maxwell School of Creative Accounting?

I think the plan is to slowly phase out cd's al together,lets face it the record companies screwed theirselves by pushing cd's.Before they came out you would have to buy a record,casstte,8 track what ever more than once cause they would just wear out.Now with cd's if you take care off it you wont have to replace it.I dont give a **** what they claim about piracy alot of their sales came from repeat buyers.If they do finally get rid of them the next step will be to somehow get everyone back on the replace your music every so often plan again.

CD's have the best priceing scheme there is already!

Taking an example from the post "Beach Boys Greatest Hits Album" will still cost you as much today as a new release, who else gets away with that? Even taking a relatively new media like DVD, films older than 6 months no longer cost full price.

Who the f--- is in charge of their ideas?! INCREASING PRICES WILL INCREASE PIRACY.

I f---ing refuse to purchase a $20+ CD unless it actually has the content to go with it (RHCP's 2 CD album, or Deftones' B-Sides and Rarities that has a CD and DVD).

Dakkaroth said,
Who the f--- is in charge of their ideas?! INCREASING PRICES WILL INCREASE PIRACY.

That's what RIAA wants to happen, so they can then sue you for downloading for thousands of dollars.

RIAA doesn't want your $30 for the CD, they want your $3-$5 grand instead.

Charlie walks to a CD rack, gets shocked at the CD price "Screw this man, I'm not paying this price! I'm gonna download it instead!"

Charlie downloads a whole album at home.

RIAA gets wind of it, laughs like a maniac "Oh we got ourselves another victim! $$$$$$$" They slap Charlie with a lawsuit.

RIAA and Charlies settles out of court for $5 grand.

End of story.

RIAA is discovering that they can make more money per peep through lawsuits than they can from one CD, so they're increasing the price on the CDs to create an increase on downloading, thereby giving RIAA the jusification to file more lawsuits and hit up Congress for more stupid music laws that enables RIAA to make even far more money.

Am I the only one who remembers back when CDs were first introduced? People were shocked at how much they cost (about the same as today, when cassette tapes were going for about half as much), but the record companies assured people that the cost would eventually come down. While technically that did happen (in relation to inflation), the actual price pretty much stayed the same. RIAA loves playing word games, and unfortunately, most of the media fall for it.

As the article correctly points out the logic is seriously flawed. At the very least they need to account for inflation which they conveniently 'forgot' to do. They can't just go throwing out figures for the nominal increase in CPI then using that as a direct comparison to the price of a CD.

Even assuming they did take into account inflation to get the real CPI increase, a CD should in no way be included in the basket of goods contained within a CPI anyway. Instead if they want to try to push their argument from an economic standpoint they should understand and take account of the most basic fundamentals of supply and demand. The cost of distribution has fallen sharply since the 80's; likewise the demand for a CD should dictate a decrease in the price of a CD if they wish to maximise revenue. Of course the RIAA wouldn't look at it in this way. They would much rather increase the cost of a CD then send those to jail who then unsuprisingly turn to pirating thereby forcing everyone to pay their overinflated prices. Of course if they could actually stop piracy this strategy might just work for them, but we all know that's not going to happen. When oh when will they wake up...

I love the RIAA's failed logic. Even when people are buying they're still not happy and no doubt the artists would still get the same amount if the CD price did go up.

I'll stick to supporting Independent Labels and Bands.

They're crazy... That prices have gone down is for obvious technological reasons, and if they'd like to raise them now wouldn't be because of any increased production costs (these have instead dramatically decreased since the dates they cite), or because more material for the customer, but purely as extra fees for their own uses. Things like this and DRM is exactly what RIAA must do to increase piracy.

Slashdot covered these news too and had some good commentary:

What were they smoking when they starting making these claims...

lets look at the facts RIAA... you claim consumer index ROSE... fair doos.

But in reality consumer prices have dropped.

e.g... buy a washing machine today, say mid range. Its costs the same amount as in the 80's except it does MORE for your money today.

CD's haven't changed at all. They don't give you any more for your money, so I think they are lucky having kept prices static for so long and having people continue buy them at what is a rediculous price.

Seriously... the RIAA and MPAA are making the worst possible enemy... the outraged consumer.

It's a difficult comparison.

What does an item that costs the same but does more mean from the perspective of inflation?

There's no good way to put a price on increased functionality, because the relative value of extra functions change.

If a single-disc player costs $100, and a 5-disc changer costs $200, the extra four trays are worth $100.

But if the single disc model can't be bought anymore, and the 5-disc changer costs $100, how much are you paying for the four extra trays? It's clearly not $100, and it's probably not $50 either (the corresponding percentage)

Hahaha RIAA is making such a huge gigantic fool of itself, unbelievable...
If the prices would've been rising along time (11 years), a CD would pro'lly cost about $50 now.
Don't they see that the piracy rate drops along with their margin of pure-theft-profit?
If CDs were to cost $50 due to RIAA, the artists would 'steal' their own work and give it out for free because otherwise their music would never be heard by a single human being.