Monday, June 17, 2024

Music Mess as iTunes Discounts Adele, Carrie Underwood, Versus Bieber, One Direction


It’s hard to measure what’s actually number 1 when everything is a different price.

On the pop charts, pricing is now an issue as all the top hits are being offered at wildly conflicting ranges.

For example: iTunes has pumped up sales of Carrie Underwood’s new album by discounting it to an incredible $5.99. The result is that “Storyteller” is number 3 on the iTunes charts. Who wouldn’t buy something for $5.99 just to see what it is? That’s what albums sold for 40 years ago. “Storyteller” is also at that price (for download) at amazon.

Meanwhile, Adele’s forthcoming “25” album is ranked as the number 1 album on both iTunes, where it’s selling for $10.99, and amazon, where it’s the same price for the download and but only $9.99 for the CD, which you could buy and then upload into a computer for free. That’s four dollars off the basic list price. It’s also four dollars cheaper than the deluxe edition of One Direction’s “Made in the AM,” which is at number 6 on iTunes awaiting release next Friday, and two dollars less than Justin Bieber’s “Purpose,” currently second to Adele.

So what’s doing better? The deep discounted albums or the highly price ones? Over at amazon, the Beatles’ new “1+1” box set, selling for $50.98, is at number 4 among their physical CDs. (It’s worth it.)

And who’s eating the cost of these discounts? The record companies take the hit to stimulate sales and chart position. But there’s no parity, just a free-for-all on the charts.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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