Discussion: Music Pricing

I caught this Kid Rock quote in the current Entertainment Weekly:

Like the Beatles, AC/DC, and Garth Brooks, Rock eschews today’s most popular digital-music portal, though he happily admits to owning major stock in Apple itself. ”I just don’t like being told what to do,” he explains. ”I don’t have a beef with Apple, or iTunes, or any of them. I do have a beef with that it seems kind of socialist of them to charge the same price for every song. What if every car cost $4,000, you know what I mean? A song from my neighbor’s garage band is not the same value as Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run.’ I just want to decide how my product gets sold with the people who sell it.”’

What do you think about music pricing?  Is the 99 cent song/$9.99 album model of iTunes too inflexible?  Would you pay more for your favorite artists, or buy more music if it was priced less?  Discuss.


  1. I would only pay 50 cents each for one of his songs, blech.

    I think he needs to get over himself. Any more than 99 cents is ridiculous, and him saying that won’t change anything. It seems he’s just trying to be a rebel but comes off as thinking he’s better than everyone else.

    Also different albums cost differently on itunes, deluxe editions cost a few dollars more, so he’s not even completely right.

  2. A song from his neighbor’s garage might only sell 20 copies, more or less – depending on the size of the dude’s family…which would rake in about twenty bucks…If a million folks buy one of Kid’s songs, he very well would be in a different league than his musical neighbor. I agree with Chris.

  3. Charging .99 per song is nothing like Socialism. Every song is given equal opportunity to sell as many copies as possible. If it was Socialism, iTunes would give a cut from all the zillions of Taylor Swift downloads to uh, Taylor Dayne …among others.

  4. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t touch Kid Rock’s stuff with a bargepole, iTunes or otherwise; the guy is one of the worst “singers” I’ve ever heard in my life. There are artists I might pay more for, but a lousy singer and a fearmonger like Kid Rock definitely isn’t one of them.

  5. I can see Kid Rock’s point with the a-la-carte approach by iTunes. I don’t, however, agree with his “socialist” stance about it. 99 cents is a pretty fair price to pay for a single. I’m sure he’d have loved to charge $2-$4 for his huge hit “All Summer Long” if he had his way. There’s still the fact that he could still sell his albums on iTunes for an “Album Only” rate of whatever he wanted it to be. iTunes does that for soundtracks. Hell, he could make it ‘Album only’ for all but his hit singles from the album.

    I think he’s just trying to rebel against something and it’s easy to rebel against the ‘big bad corporation’ that is helping a consumer not get hosed for a song.

  6. I’ getting tired of hearing Kid Rock and Garth Brooks for that matter talking about this.

    His idea of other artists costing more is stupid as I hate it even now if I see an album price higher with no reason for it to be (Little Big Town A Place To Land (re-release)).

  7. I actually appreciate itunes prices, and Amazon’s because I have been known to be out and about, and have seen a CD that I have been interested in at WM, Best Buy, etc. and they have had a price tag of $11.99, $13.99 on it and I have choosen not to purchase it because I know that I can go home and save $2-4 and purchase it off of itunes or amazon. Yes, I do not get the hard CD, but what do I do with the hard CD, but let it sit on a shelf and collect dust….

    I have boxes of them at home are collecting dust because I have loaded them on my ipod.

  8. My question is: who would judge which songs cost more? I don’t care if the Beatles and Garth Brooks are two of the most popular acts out there – I don’t like either of ’em. So if it were me, I would make ’em cheaper. But of course, I am a minority, so obviously my decision is kind of irrelevant.

    Next comes the issue of popularity over talent. Should someone such as Miranda Lambert, who as far as I can tell is considered very talented on this site, be priced more than Rascal Flatts, who seem to be considered more of a train wreck? Or should Rascal Flatts have their song priced more because they have a bigger fan base?

    This is why I think Kid Rock’s proposition is ridiculous, because everyone will have different opinions about whose songs should be priced more, simply because of their tastes, even though that in reality, this would mean that we’d be paying more for the more popular acts because the ‘big bad corporation’ will have just one more excuse to take our money.

  9. Here is my biggest gripe as far as the argument of artists like Kid Rock is concerned: One of the main philsophies behind the launch of itunes was to combat the HUGE amount of illegal music downloading that was being accused of sinking the music business at the time (and still is). Consumers were sick to death of paying nearly 20 bucks for crap albums with one or 2 hit singles (something that Rock himself is VERY guilty of)…so they chose to those one or 2 singles from outlets such as Kazaa or Napster rather than waste their money.

    .99 is a fair price for the average everyday consumer who happens to love a song and would be more than happy to pay for it, rather than download it illegally from a peer-to-peer outlet.

    To put it in a personal persepective. I adore that Ashton Shepard song “Sounds So Good”. I was more than happy to support her by paying a dollar to buy it on itunes, even though I could have got it for free on bittorrent or limewire or the like. If the same song had been 2 or even 3 dollars, I might not have been so willing to plunk down the money.

    It’s a vicious cycle that Kid Rock is endorsing. The same artists who are whining most loudly about not being able to price gouge on itunes and other similar outlets were the same ones causing the biggest ruckus about what illegal downloading was doing to the music business.

    You can’t have it both ways..the average person isn’t going to feel terribly sorry that you can’t turn your $100 million into $300 million because itunes won’t let you jack your prices up- and it’s not going to help the artist either way when a wealth of opportunites to illegally download music still exists (which is not to say that I support illegally downloading music).

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