Why it pays to shop around for music

Though you may prefer to keep all your music downloads in one digital basket, you can save money by checking out different online music stores.

Different stores often have different prices on songs and albums. Currently, the best deal on Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die" is at Amazon.
Different stores often have different prices on songs and albums. Currently, the best deal on Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die" is at Amazon. Screenshot by Rick Broida

So. Lana Del Rey. Overnight sensation. Controversial pop figure. Atrocious "Saturday Night Live" performer.

Me, I've always had a soft spot for deep, drawling female voices, and they don't get much deeper or drawl-ier than Del Rey's. So I thought I'd spring for her album and see what all the fuss was about.

Because Google's been hypercompetitive in the music market of late, I started my "Born to Die" shopping at Android Market. The price there: $11.49.

Next stop: iTunes. I don't typically buy my music there, even though I'm a heavy iDevice user, but Apple often has deals on popular albums, sometimes with bonus tracks not available elsewhere.

At the very least, I stood to save quite a bit: iTunes charges $7.99 for "Born to Die."

Next stop: my usual go-to music source, Amazon. Score! I could pick up the album for just $5.99.

I also checked out eMusic, which had a matching price. However, you can't just buy an album outright; you need to be an eMusic subscriber, which costs a minimum of $11.99 monthly. Granted, the $5.99 album price would have been deducted from my available credit, but ultimately Amazon offered the best deal for this one-off purchase.

That's not the case with every album, but it underscores my point: When you're looking to buy music online, it pays to shop around. A track that's $1.29 here might be 99 cents or even 69 cents there. And as you can see, album prices often vary greatly from one store to another.

Where do you usually shop for music? Do you ever price-compare between stores? And what do you think of the galvanizing Ms. Del Rey?

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Delete your photos by mistake?

Whether you've deleted everything on your memory card or there's been a data corruption, here's a way to recover those photos.