Universal Lowers CD Prices

Universal Music Group is cutting prices on CDs and cassettes in an aggressive move to curtail music piracy. UMG revealed plans Wednesday (Sept. 3) to reduce the suggested retail price of its top line CDs to $12.98 from current prices ranging from $16.98 to $18.98. Cassette prices are being lowered to $8.98. With discounts from retailers, UMG’s CDs are expected to sell for $11-$12 each. UMG’s holdings include the Nashville-based MCA, Mercury and Lost Highway labels whose rosters include Shania Twain, George Strait, Terri Clark, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson and others. The price decrease also extends to older titles in the labels’ catalog. MCA and Mercury have an extensive catalog, including albums by Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty and Bill Monroe. The new prices become effective Oct. 1. Other record companies are expected to follow UMG’s lead to court the favor of consumers who have become accustomed to free or low cost downloads via the Internet. 09/04/03