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.