Before the recording industry effectively shut them down, the Russian website Allofmp3.com was doing a brisk business in showing that people were often more than happy to pay for album downloads if they were a hell of a lot cheaper than what iTunes and others were charging. Albums often were closer to the $2 or $3 range, which seemed a lot more compelling to many users. Of course, there were questions as to the legality of the service. However, it seems that some are finally realizing that it might help to make digital albums much, much, much cheaper. We've certainly seen this on limited attempts from individual bands, but apparently a large distributor of metal music has decided to lower the price on almost all of its digital download albums to $5.25. Who knows if that's the right price (I'd guess it's still too high), but it's good to see more experimentation on pricing. Hopefully, we'll begin to get more concrete data on how such pricing experiments work. We've already seen in the video game industry that price discounts can more than pay for themselves in increased sales. It's hard to believe the same wouldn't apply to music as well.
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