Song's Download Price Varies From Site To Site

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A new album at the top of Internet download charts the past week is "Sounds of the Universe." It's from the 1980s band Depeche Mode. How much is costs to download depends on where you buy it. At Amazon, you can download the 12-track album for $3.99. On iTunes, it's $9.99.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And our last word in business today: all over the map.

(Soundbite of song, "Fragile Tension")

Mr. DAVID GAHAN (Lead singer, Depeche Mode): (Singing) Well, it's a fragile tension.

MONTAGNE: A new album at the top of Internet download charts this past week is "Sounds of the Universe." That's from the 1980's band Depeche Mode. And talk about variable pricing. On Amazon, you can download it for $9.49. On iTunes, it's $9.99. Rob Levine, executive editor of Billboard Magazine, says that if you really like the group, you can go to a brick-and-mortar store and spend $100 on a deluxe box set.

Mr. ROB LEVINE (Executive Editor, Billboard Magazine): What economists call this is price discovery. Normal people call this we don't know what the heck it's worth. What's something worse, it's such a hard thing to figure out. I mean, on the one hand, you have a large group of people who seem to think that paying $15 for a CD is some kind of highway robbery, which I think is ridiculous. On the other hand, you have a lot of people who are standing in line to buy something for a $100.

MONTAGNE: Rob Levine adds many albums are so marked down on the Internet, it's as if the industry is trying to compete with the lowest price of all: free, the price many people seem to think they should pay for music these days.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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