It's beginning to look a lot like a $5 Christmas.
At least that's the price point being touted in Black Friday adds by Target and Walmart, according to the circular pages on the Black Friday Gotta Deal site.
According to the circulars, the $5 offers include the latest albums from Aerosmith, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Rod Stewart, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean, Pitbull, are featured in a Walmart circular ad; while the latest albums from Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Chris Brown, Josh Turner, Imagine Dragons, and Lionel Richie, and Adele's "19" are featured in Target's circular ad. Target is also featuring another seven albums for $7, including the latest albums from P!nk, Jason Aldean, Justin Bieber, No Doubt, Tony Bennett, Kendrick Lamar and Carrie Underwood.
It's interesting to note that Sony Music Entertainment seems to dominate the circular space, although the Universal Music Group also makes a good showing.
But overwhelmingly, DVDs and Blu-Rays dominate the home-entertainment software circular space at a ratio of about 10-1. And in the case of Best Buy, for the first time in memory, there don't appear to be any CD titles featured in the circular, at least based on what is posted on the Gotta a Deal site.
Both the Universal Music Group Distribution and Sony last year and this year have pushed back against the movie studio dominance of prime real estate in-store and the circulars. While that may prove to be the case in stores, as it was last year, the circular space has been consistently dominated by DVDs, as this year's seems to bear out.
What is significant about the $5 price point for new titles on Black Friday is that price point featured that day generally represents the floor price for the holiday-selling season.
Typically after Black Friday, prices rise somewhat and stay in the $6.99 to $9.99 range on new releases. But in those years when where overall holiday sales start weak and remain that way as the season progresses, sharp loss-leader pricing usually comes back into play, and music merchants have been known to revert to their Black Friday pricing. That tends to put pressure on profitability, so merchants generally like it when Black Friday pricing features $7 or higher for hit titles.