How much would you pay for a song?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
With this Apple music service on the horizon, what do you think the cost of downloading a song would be?

If a CD containing 10 songs cost $15 at your local retailer, would you pay $1.50 per song?

Would there be a discount if you purchased "bulk" songs?


  • Reply 1 of 25
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    I wouldn't pay more than $1.50, more like $1.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    75¢ tops. more like 50¢ though.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    You have a point, alcimedes... remember that you're just downloading an encoded MP3 - it's lower quality than a CD, and you don't have a hard copy unless you burn it to a CD. So if your hard drive fails after buying 30 songs, you lose all those songs for good.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    sebseb Posts: 676member
    I might pay 99¢ for the occasional song, but there's no way I'd pay that much for all my music.

    Lessee here - a 20GB iPod holds 4000 songs. A person starting from scratch could fill that sucker up a song/dollar at a time and $4000 dollars later they'd have a full iPod.

    Suddenly the hard drive on their Mac crashes and boom! 4 grand down the drain. Of course, they'd have the music on their iPod - but naturally Apple can't tell you how to get the music onto your new HD. It's the customer's responsibility to take ownership of their data and backup after all.

    10¢ a song, maybe 25¢ - but I'm cheap.

    I mean, 100 songs a month = $100?? Geez. It just doesn't seem like much when you look at it like that. I've got about 2000 songs in my iTunes - most from used CDs I've acquired over years.

    For 99¢ a song I might d/l four or five a month. But I think for it to really take off they'd have to make it a lot cheaper. It's a great iDea, but really, it's just music - we all love it but.....
  • Reply 5 of 25
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Well, if you bought 100 songs a month right now it'd cost you more than $1000...

    Still, while 99 cents is one of those nice one-cent-less-than-round numbers that marketing types so dearly love, it's definitely on the high side. I'd prefer it if new, hit songs cost 99 cents and B-list and back catalog songs were, say, 25 cents. I'd save a lot of money, and people would be encouraged to listen to better music.

    The songs will apparently be AAC encoded, which is basically CD quality (and able to support 5.1 sound!). They won't be MP3.

    I'd expect "bulk discounts" on albums, and I'd hope that albums cost a good bit less than they do on CD. Bandwidth isn't free, but next to packaging, distribution, retail and co-op advertising it's nothing.

    Unfortunately, the big labels hate the idea of per-song downloads, because it foils their tactic of charging people a CD's worth of money for one radio-ready single and 9 tracks of crap. So they're going to press hard to make albums look more attractive. They're also going to press for a huge profit margin, both as a shield against perceived risk (because online music is piracy, doncha know!) and to prop up their corrupt, bloated, failing business model.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    I'd pay about 40 dollars/euros for 10 GB, which is what I pay my ISP now. Being 40/2000 per song, or about 0.02 dollars.

    Just my two cents' worth.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    I would pay .25 for a pop song.

    I would pay .50 for a rare song (aka, I request it, they find it, post it, and send it to me)

    I would pay .75 for a pop song pre-release.

    I would pay max $5 per album (if it was decent)

    I would pay max $10 per album (if it were rare)
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Yes, 50 cents sounds good. It's a deal for the record companies too because they don't have to pay for CD, cover, printing, distribution, shelf costs. I like $.50 a song. Sounds fair enough.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    I would pay $0 for a pop song. Hopefully they have more than the "latest hits" available... I've never liked recent music, none of it. Well, almost none of it. The few stuff I do like was recent when I was a bit younger, so I say it's pretty new but everyone else is like "that's old, man!" and I'm like, "What, that's old? It's pop, or rock, or something, I think...?"
  • Reply 10 of 25
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    Hmm, I've just realised why I don't care too much about pay-per-track services: there's not much music that would ever hit those servers that I'd actually want to buy...\
  • Reply 11 of 25
    salmonstksalmonstk Posts: 560member
    Ok 1 buck a song is reasonable at today's CD prices. Could it be lower sure, but its unreasonable to expect it to be.

    That would be 10 songs for a CD a savings of 5 bucks. Is the case and pictures worth 5 bucks? If so buy the CD.

    Now as far as hard drive crashed, burn a back up. My entire iTunes library is archived and most are already on CD anyhow. If you have a superdrive now that is all the fewer actual CD's required.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Everyone I know pays between $30 and $50 a month for unlimited songs. They also throw in access to websites, email, crap like that.

    Eh, if this 99 cent thing is real, that's $1.50+ for me in Canada. Won't be buying too many of those. \
  • Reply 13 of 25
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Ooh, good question. Any of you here have any particular insight to this? I always thought $1 was fair, but I'm an idiot because - when you do the math - it's actually quite expensive.

    I'd absolutely flip my flapjacks if Jobs announced next week some sort of price in the .39-.79 range...cheaper for some stuff, higher for others. But that's a good, reasonable middle ground.

    I think.

    I'm not all up on what things cost, should cost and why in regards to the music biz.

    I DO know that I'll never spend $16.98 on a store-bought CD again. Ever.

    Cat's out of the bag now, people...
  • Reply 14 of 25
    salmonstksalmonstk Posts: 560member
    It should be interesting to see if there is a subscription option. In addition to pay per song.

    May be a nice way to get .Mac subscriptions
  • Reply 15 of 25
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    I would transition to downloading your typical Pop/Rock/whatever songs if they could be had for .50-.75 per song. I think .99 is still too high for not having physical storage provided.

    For CD's that I want I would love to transition to DVD-Audio/SACD.

    Selection is going to be very important.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    I would pay about .50 per song and about $5 per downloaded cd.

    Music cd prices right now are held up by the oligarchy that is the music industry today. When DVD's are $15-20 per movie and literally becoming impulse buys, then cd's should follow the pricing.

    If I bought the cd in the store and it included full fidelity tracks and maybe some of the video's in Quicktime format, I would pay about $10 for it max. If I provide the bandwidth, and burning capability then it should be $5.

    I remember having a funny argument about this a while ago with a friend about the movie Moulin Rouge. I wanted the soundtrack but refused to go buy it. While we were arguing I pointed out to him that I could buy the movie with all the songs in it for less than the cost of the soundtrack cd.

    That pretty much drove the point home.

  • Reply 17 of 25
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    No more than 50 cents, Canadian at that. CD's are from 15-20 Canadian, so for NO included physical media and far more likely than not, some insane copyprotection schemes, I wouldn't pay more than 50 cents, and would mot expect to pay more than 5 dollars for a complete CD worth of music.

    Otherwise, I can still buy decent used CD's for 7-12 Canadian, and have no interest in some restricted online scheme, unless it's free.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    if they charged 99 cents and gave more than 50% to the artist, sure

    charge less than 99 cents without specifying the breakdown and i'd begin to wonder who wins

    per-track pricing only solves half of the expoitation/filler problem...

    quality control in a market-driven-per-download should reward creative talent. will it?
  • Reply 19 of 25
    algolalgol Posts: 833member
    Yea, I don't know how much I would really be willing to spend. I can get all the same songs on Kazaa for free, so the only songs I'm going to pay for are the ones I really like. I would probably pay for those certain songs, because I would want them in better quality for the car stereo. If Apple makes buying the the songs very easy and fun, I may be more willing to spend the money. However, I would not pay more than 50¢ for most songs.
  • Reply 20 of 25

    Originally posted by Luca Rescigno

    So if your hard drive fails after buying 30 songs, you lose all those songs for good.

    Maybe they can keep track of the songs you buy and you could re-download them at no extra charge in case you lose them. But probably that would be risky cos you could lend your account to someone else, and that person would have access to all you bought in the past. Hmm. \

    [edit] Oh, and I'd pay MAX US$1.25 for a song. (It would have to be a very hard to find song, tho.) US$1 for new releases. 75 cents for oldies or last year's hits, etc.
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