Is Quietly Becoming the Best Place to Buy Cheap Digital Music

Music + Nightlife
by Tom Gates Nov 2, 2009

The Gaslight Anthem’s album is a fivespot on

Amazon’s digital music downloads don’t come with anything to protect filesharing. So why are record labels selling their albums here cheaper than on iTunes?

The #1 selling album on Amazon’s digital store right now is the soundtrack to a little-seen film (Away We Go ), by a too-seldom heard artist (Alexi Murdoch). So why’s it selling? At $6.99*, it’s a cheap investment for an album that currently holds a 4 ½ star rating.

The same album goes for $9.99 on iTunes.

Amazon seems to be working hard to get the price down on titles. This is encouraging for those of us who still like to purchase music but find a price point one penny shy of ten bucks to be ridiculous.

Albums currently selling well for five bills include Beastie Boys’ classic Paul’s Boutique , Owl City’s embarrassing Ocean Eyes and the indie-dad-approved Yo Gabba Gabba’s Music Is Awesome .

The disparity between pricing with iTunes is puzzling. Jay Z’s The Blueprint 3 is currently $5.00 on Amazon and $9.99 at iTunes. Same price difference for Tim McGraw, Flight Of The Conchords and Grizzly Bear.

On top of their low-price model, Amazon has been rolling out plenty of free albums over the past few months. Most of the titles are garbage, but it’s a dizzying selection of garbage nonetheless, with 144 titles at last count.

If you’re going to low-dough album, I’d suggest The Gaslight Anthem’s The ’59 Sound . Currently one of the best live acts in the world, they’re about to enter the studio to record what music-folks are whispering could be the album of 2010. At five bucks, this one’s a steal.

*This title was $1.99 when we first posted the article but jumped shortly thereafter.

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.