How Much is Music Really Worth? It Depends on Which Country You Live In.

When the new global digital economy of music was taking shape, it was decided that the price of online music would be fixed in the local currency. In Canada, iTunes sells tracks for between 69 cents and $1.29 with albums and streaming subscriptions running at $9.99. In the UK, single tracks run between 69 pence and £1.29 with albums and streams pegged at £9.99. The same applies to other countries. That seems fair, right?

Well, not quite. There’s another metric that we have to apply: the average per capita GDP in the different countries. In other words, how much of an impact the cost of music has on an average person’s income. If we include these measurements, Canada is getting a helluva deal when it comes to most of the rest of the world. Look:

The Cost of Music vs Per Capita GDP
Item Canada (CAD) CAD equivalent in Australia (AUD) CAD equivalent in Euro zone (Euros) CAD equivalent in UK (pounds) CAD equivalent in US (USD)
Single track 0.69 0.68 0.47 0.42 0.52
0.99 0.97 0.67 0.61 0.74
1.29 1.28 0.88 0.78 0.96
Album/Stream subscription 9.99 9.81 6.79 6.12 7.46
Per capita GDP (USD) 51,958 42,450 34,300 47,787 53,042
Cost in Absolute Terms for an Album or Stream  (CAD) 9.99 99.14 14.55 19.89 16.31
Index (Canada = 100) 100 99 146 199 163

Exchange rates as of 30 October 2016.

Read more about this issue at Music Industry Blog.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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