Pitchfork’s Tastemaking Ability Extends To Setting Price Floors

noah | December 8, 2008 11:30 am

A novel bit of promoting a record’s review landed in our tips inbox earlier today: “Today, renowned and respected indie rock critics Pitchfork Media released a review of Ropechain, the second full length album from Indianapolis-based Grampall Jookabox. Employing their 10-point system, Pitchfork scored the album at a 5.4. Asthmatic Kitty will therefore sell Ropechain for $5.40 for 54 hours from 9am, December 8th.” After chuckling a bit over the possibility of music writers actually having an influence on real-world music consumption habits for once, I wondered whether or not other records reviewed by Pitchfork have had the market decide for them that they should be priced according to their Best New Music-worthiness. After the jump, I put a few notable releases to the test, comparing their Pitchfork scores and the lowest (pre-shipping) price that said albums are available for on the Amazon Marketplace.

Liz Phair: 0.0 from Pitchfork; $0.16 on Amazon Marketplace. PRICE DIFFERENTIAL: +$0.16.

Black Kids, Partie Traumatic: 3.3 from Pitchfork; $4.90 on Amazon Marketplace. PRICE DIFFERENTIAL: +$1.60.

Weezer (red album): 4.7 from Pitchfork; $4.00 on Amazon Marketplace. PRICE DIFFERENTIAL: -$0.70.

Deerhunter, Microcastle: 9.2 from Pitchfork; $9.75 on Amazon Marketplace. PRICE DIFFERENTIAL: +$0.55.

Radiohead, In Rainbows: 9.3 from Pitchfork; $7.98 on Amazon Marketplace. PRICE DIFFERENTIAL: -$1.32.

I actually figured that there would be more of a wild swing between the asking prices and the scores, but a differential that tops out at $1.60 isn’t all that bad, as far as predictions of further market performance go. Perhaps critic-based pricing schemes will become the “pay what you want” of 2009! There’s hope for music writers’ livelihoods yet!

ASTHMATIC KITTY ADOPTS CRITIC-BASED PRICING STRUCTURE [Asthmatic Kitty]Ropechain [Pitchfork]