HMV listens to customers; CRIA? Not so much

Michael Geist has posted an interesting letter from a Canadian music industry insider. The letter describes what have become the most common, rational explanations for the decline in CD sales in Canada. Also included is a decent breakdown of CRIA's sales reporting strategy and what their numbers actually represent. Most of this is the standard information that those of us who disagree with the rhetoric published by this upper echelon organization.

The most interesting part of the posting related to HMV's recent pricing changes. Previously, the spokesperson for CRIA had implied (again) that this was a reaction to sales losses caused by P2P downloading. This posting claims that something else motivated the powers that be at HMV:

“Consumer research confirmed that many of our HMV customers believed we offered competitive pricing on our new release CDs, as well as our promotional CD offers (e.g. 2/$25). However, while our customers loved our broad selection of catalog CD's, about half of our customers were of the belief that our catalog pricing was too high.

“Given one of our key areas of focus is to offer consumers good value for money, we decided to reduce thousands of our higher priced catalog CD's by an average of 20% per CD. We tested this in Edmonton for 6 months with favourable results, and then decided to roll out this initiative nationally."

Did you catch that? They are responding to customer demand.

HMV is in the process of changing pricing to reflect the current market realities and demand. With one of Canada's leading music retailers responding in this fashion, shouldn't the distributors of their products (members of CRIA) respond similarly?