Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Music has never been cheaper

Once upon a time, buying music was VERY expensive. If you go back to the 1950s, the average price of an album was about $5.50–and that’s in 1950s dollars, which means if you adjust for inflation, that’s the equivalent of nearly 60 bucks today.

And that was a bargain compared to the late 40s when a typical album sold for more than 7 bucks, which is over 80 dollars in today’s money.

In the 70s, a 7-inch single sold for between 99 cents and $1.29. What does a single cost on iTunes now? Between 99 cents and a buck twenty-nine. But with streaming, things have completely changed. There’s more music than ever available.

And the price? If you used YouTube or the free tier of Spotify, it’s ZERO!

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: Music has never been cheaper

  • ….and the result? Musicians are unable to make a living. All of the profits go to the labels and the streaming companies. I am appalled at the ads that YouTube has running encouraging musicians to put out videos on their channel. Why don’t they explain how those artists will receive no compensation, but YouTube will be making all of the profits.


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