Where are the discounts the Internet was supposed to deliver?

On the front page of today’s L.A. "Times" is an article about new startup airlines.  Sans frills, they sell tickets as cheap as ten bucks.  Sometimes even one cent.  How do they do it?  Skybus has no telephone service center, everything is done on the Web. 

Airline ticket: $10; pillow: $15

How come if there’s no production, no shipping, no physical product whatsoever, no salesman, little or no artwork/liner notes, an online track costs just as much as a physical one?  Furthermore, it SOUNDS WORSE and comes with COPY PROTECTION!

The public isn’t ignorant.  If there are such efficiencies in translating their business online, why do the record companies want to RAISE prices?

To meet their bottom line.  But isn’t that like Smith-Corona making one last electric typewriter and hoping someone will buy it for ten million dollars?

Prices have to drop.  Argue with me all day long how this is done, but it’s got to happen, and will.  The artists have already conceded, they’re getting the same damn rate as that on physical product, even though there IS NO physical product.  Their cut is drawn down by packaging and other discounts that don’t apply in the cyberworld.  Furthermore, the public KNOWS IT!

How come the public knows the artists are being ripped off, and those who ARE ripping them off don’t wake up to reality and right the wrong?

Publishers have to go to a percentage rate.  So prices can be fluid.  And labels have to be fair regarding the slice of the pie they retain as their own.  But one thing’s for sure, prices have got to drop.

So, for one week only, EVERYTHING online is forty nine cents a track.  Or a dime.  Let’s see what price point generates the most traffic.

Oh, you might say people will show up to buy at a low price and then disappear.  Well, maybe you’ve got to entice them to spend MORE!  Maybe you can buy a coupon for a hundred tracks at a quarter.  Maybe you have to buy a hundred to GET that price.  Maybe the more you buy, the lower the price.

God, the labels are playing pricing games all over physical retail, but online?  They just want the price to go up.

Oh, they pay lip service to the price dropping, but you know the stuff under a buck will be deep catalog or crap.

How about if you can buy ALL of Led Zeppelin for twenty five bucks, this weekend only?  Or the Beatles.  Or fifteen for not only Justin Timberlake solo, but everything he did with ‘N Sync too.

Music is not the Maybach business.  Wherein you make one overpriced car and try to sell it to someone who needs to be above the riff-raff.  Rather, music is for EVERYBODY!  So it must be priced so not only everybody can afford it, but everybody WILL BUY IT!

Revenue will not go up until the per track price goes down.  This is immutable. 

Gentlemen, start your engines.

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