Ringtone Pricing May Lead Music Industry Astray Online


The Wall Street Journal‘s ‘Real Time’ columnist Jason Fry a week ago wrote that the success of selling popular music ringtones for mobile phone ringtones “has led the recording industry and the wireless carriers to a dangerous fantasy: Since people will pay $2.49 to download a snippet of a song, there’s no reason they won’t pay that much to download the whole thing.” Today, his readers’ published responses indicate that that they (i.e., people who pay a subscription to read WSJ.com) won’t pay US $2.49 per downloadable song and think that the best download price is less US $1.00. It’s a common story in the online media market: When there’s no match between what the seller charges and what the buyer is willing to pay, there isn’t a market.

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