Content providers still haven’t figured out physical vs digital pricing

iTunes and Amazon MP3 have been dominating music sales for years now, but there is plenty of evidence that providers have wildly different strategies when it comes to pricing. This is made all the more absurd by Amazon’s AutoRip functionality, where the lines between a digital & physical purchase are even more blurry.

Exhibit A is Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City album. As one might expect given the lower productions costs the digital version is dramatically cheaper than the physical CD:
Vampire Weekend prices on Amazon

Exhibit B is Daft Punk’s new Random Access Memories album. The incredible thing is this example is that you can get a digital copy of the album cheaper by buying the physical CD – Amazon gives you instant access to the digital versions as well via AutoRip:
Daft Punk RAM on Amazon

Both of these are new albums from popular acts, released a week apart. There are those that argue that the digital instances should be priced at the same or higher than physical, since the user gets the benefit of instant gratification. However, in the case of Amazon purchases this logic no longer applies. One could certainly argue that the Daft Punk offering has much more drive given their advertising blitz, but I find it curious that these two examples are so different.

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