If the music industry had its way, songs would cost $15 a track. You can get a sense of that from the pricing of ringtones -- the first few seconds of a song for which Those With Too Much Cash pay $3 or $4 each. Extrapolate the pricing and you get about $15 for the whole song.
The Register notes: The ringtone business, for example, grossed $75bn for operators last year -- double the global revenue of the music industry.
I get a further sense of greed from some of the new prices. I'm not paying $23 for the new Pat Metheny CD or $55 for the Dire Straits musicDVD of greatest hits. Reminds me of college textbook overpricing.
Contrast that greed with the reasonableness I discovered at HMV Canada's local music store yesterday. They're having some sort of super sale, and many current titles are CDN$9.99 -- about US$9 each. I immediately bought three CDs.
(I'd include a link to HMV Canada, but the Web page keeps displaying the head office site in Britain.)
It's been said often that there would be less pirating if CDs were priced reasonably, such as $10 or less. I wonder if HMV is testing the theory. It works for me, because I'd rather have the physical CD instead of paying for ethereal downloads -- even though here in Canada music downloads are not illegal and we pay an added tax on CDs, etc, to compensate musicians for free downloads.