Music consumers expect to pay a substantially lower price for albums they download than for a physical CD, according to a new study from research firm Ipsos-Insight.

Music consumers expect to pay a substantially lower price for albums they download than for a physical CD, according to a new study from research firm Ipsos-Insight.

Respondents to Ipsos' survey of 488 Internet users aged 12 and over said that an acceptable price range for a full-length physical CD is $9.99-$14.99. By contrast, they said they would be willing to pay $5-$9.99 to download an album by a well-known artist--roughly $5 less.

"The price points that will maximize consumer adoption for both physical CDs and album downloads are much lower than those currently found in the marketplace," says the study's author, Matt Kleinschmit, a director of research at Ipsos-Insight.

Ipsos says a lack of interest in buying full-length album downloads may indicate that consumers view digital distribution as a channel primarily for purchasing individual tracks, and they may prefer to purchase a physical CD when they want to own the entire album. Another research firm, NPD Group, recently found that downloaders indeed gravitate toward single tracks, taking entire albums less than 1% of the time (Bulletin, Dec. 5).

Consumers "may be willing to pay more for a durable product that is perceived as more permanent and archival in nature, rather than a digital format that may be viewed as more temporary," says Kleinschmit.