I was listening to Spark Radio the other night, and when I heard a song that I liked a lot. I jumped over to the iTunes application on my iPhone and purchased the song for $.99. The next day I was thinking to myself that perhaps the rest of the album was worth getting. (Yes, I am old enough to be one of those people who actually likes to own an entire album instead of individual singles.)
So I went over to iTunes I saw that it was available for $9.99. I was about to purchase it when I stopped for moment and thought to myself… “Self, maybe I should check out Amazon and see what they charge for the download.”
I did just that and discovered that it was available on Amazon.com for a good bit less. In fact, the same album that iTunes had for $9.99 I could purchase for $7.99. The exact same album and it was two dollars less.
An oddity, right? Well not quite. And it got me wondering… was the price differential a fluke or a normal every day thing…
The album that got me wondering initially was Groove Armada’s new album Black Light.
On iTunes it is $9.99 for 12 tracks or 11.99 for 15 tracks.
On Amazon it is $7.99 for 12 tracks.
On both you can preview the music. On both you can get additional information and suggestions for other albums or groups. Both downloaded in 256kbps. But one will save you a few bucks.
Next I checked Massive Attack’s album Heligoland.
On Amazon it is $9.49 and has 14 tracks and a digital booklet.
In fact I check a few dozen albums and found that time and Again Amazon’s pricing for MP3 downloads was the same or better– sometimes MUCH better– than what I could find in iTunes. Since Amazon’s MP3 downloader will automatically add tracks purchased from Bezos and Company into iTunes buying music through the massive eTailer is no more difficult than buying through iTunes. I’m sure there are times when the price on iTunes is better, but in my unscientific analysis this morning it was pretty darn clear that when you are looking to purchase music you will be doing yourself, and your wallet, a favor by checking Amazon first.