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Bargain Bin

September 28, 1997|Steve Hochman

Duran Duran's upcoming "Medazzaland" album will feature something harking back to the old days--a price tag of less than $10. That's only for the cassette version of the album, but Capitol Records is knocking the list price down from the standard $10.98 to $7.98. With discounts, stores could sell it for as little as $5, less than half the price of a CD.

Joe McFadden, Capitol's senior vice president of sales, says the idea is to position cassettes in relation to CDs much as paperback books are to hard covers, though he hopes some fans will buy both--"one for the car, one for home."

The stimulus for the move, he says, came from retailers looking for creative ways to boost cassette sales. Once dominant, cassette sales have slipped to about just 15% of rock sales.

"Response has been very positive," he says. "The retailers like that we're trying something different, and most of them have agreed to have displays for the album with the cassettes and CDs together and signs explaining that the tape is the full-length album, not a sampler or a single."

Calls for reduction of CD prices have been much louder than for cassettes. But while lower list prices have become common for new artists on disc, McFadden cautions, "Superstar prices are not going to be coming down."

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