Who sells the cheapest music downloads? – iTunes, Amazon and more compared
Now HMV is the last high street music retailer standing, there’s more consumer choice available online from retailers like Apple’s iTunes and Amazon MP3. But which service offers the cheapest music downloads?
We compared the price of the Top 10 hit albums and critically acclaimed LPs from 2012 across each of the main retailers to see who came out cheapest on price. Perhaps surprisingly, iTunes was far from the best for value.
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To find out how music download services fare with regards to critically acclaimed records, we took The Guardian’s Top 10 albums of 2012 and cross-checked them on price across iTunes, Amazon, 7digital and Google Play.
Amazon MP3 proved the clear winner, offering the cheapest album prices in 7/10 instances. In the case of hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City, his album costs £5 less from Amazon than it does through iTunes. In fact, iTunes was the joint most expensive music download platform for 5/10 LPs, sharing the dubious honour with the lesser known 7digital.
If you were to buy all 10 albums from 7digital, it would prove would be more expensive than any other service we surveyed. Its £69.40 total is considerably higher than the £54.40 figure offered by Amazon MP3.
iTunes proves even worse for Top 10 albums
With iTunes’ download prices varying dramatically for critically acclaimed LPs, we checked to see whether its prices for Official UK Top 10 albums followed a different pattern. The results weren’t particularly encouraging for bargain hunters.
Google Play proved the most expensive platform if you were to buy all 10 records, but iTunes claimed the most expensive or equally highest price for 5/10 of the albums.
Remarkably, Amazon MP3 trounced its competition across all 10 albums offering the cheapest price in every instance. Buying French DJ David Guetta’s Nothing But The Beat from Amazon instead of 7digital would save you £4.50 in total.
Start with Amazon, but be careful to shop elsewhere
As with our ebooks testing, Amazon has made a conscious effort to undercut its music selling competitors by offering the cheapest prices available. With a 29.2% share of the UK music market based on downloads alone, iTunes has enough clout to charge slightly higher prices and get away with it; especially when Google Play and 7digital are still more expensive in most instances. As ever, shopping around can still uncover some good deals from unlikely sources.
Where do you download your music from? Is iTunes too convenient to look elsewhere for new albums? Let us know in the comments section below.
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