Thursday, November 5, 2009

No, but seriously: screw you!

At the risk of turning this blog into an anti-eMusic diatribe:
The Michael Gielen box set of Mahler's symphonies apparently now has album pricing on it in the US, meaning the 56 tracks require 150 credits! This means, as eMusic subscriber JNP points out, an extra 168% onto the price. I was planning on getting that next month anyway, but definitely so now. On my good old 90-track grandfathered account, it comes to €10.42 - quite a bargain indeed. But when the new pricing system comes in, the best I could probably hope for would be - wait for it - €61.50! "But it's still cheap compared to getting it on CD!" True, but the real-world alternative to downloading it is, in fact, not getting it on CD.
One can waste a lot of time thinking about what record companies should and shouldn't be doing, but why they seem to wilfully discourage people from buying their product is a mystery. The answer, I presume, is that they don't actually think these things through at all. I can't imagine the folks in Hanssler looked at their returns from eMusic and said, "hey, look, this Gielen set is selling very well. Let's increase the price by 168% and watch our profits soar!"
Guys, listen. There are so many classical recordings out there, online and on CD, that the chances of any one of us buying a given product that doesn't have a new-release buzz about it are minuscule. We only have so much money, or so many eMusic credits, to spend. I'm not saying we're all cheapskates: if we really want something, we'll buy it, and not necessarily as a download either. But if we're going to shell out €60 or 150 credits then we have to really want it. There are plenty of other ways of spending our money, and if you're not going to meet us at least some of the way, we'll simply buy something else.

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