Pricing was a key issue at the retail discussion during the Billboard Regional Mexican Music Summit yesterday, with a CD price of $10 often cited as a magic number.

"Price is a very, very, very key factor," said David Massry," president of the Ritmo Latino retail chain of stores. Frontline product priced under $10 during early release weeks, added Massry, sells briskly. Once prices go up, sales drop dramatically.

According to Sandra Ramirez, Latin product manager for Handleman, sales of products under $10 have risen by more than 100% in the past months, while "everything over $10 is down double digits."

Pricing is especially important, all panelists agreed, to the regional Mexican consumer, who typically has more economic constraints.

"When gas prices go up, we notice a drop in sales," said Jeff Young, VP of sales for Univision Music Group. "When you talk an $18 price on an album, particularly an album by a new artist, do you think they're going to take a risk? No. They're going to download it for free."

Daniel Fernandez Garcia, director of sales for Three Sound Records, agreed. "No album should sell for over $10," he said.

The retail panel, moderated by Billboard's director of charts/senior analyst Geoff Mayfield, took place on Day One of the regional Mexican Music Summit at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles. The summit ends Oct. 3.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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