Amazon selling 258 song, 17 CD John Martyn boxset as a download for… £7.49

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 10.58.09My friend Andy just tipped me off as to this rather curious development: John Martyn’s “Island Years” boxset is available on Amazon for £150. Its a monstrous deluxe collection spanning 17 CDs and one DVD; quite the item for completists and hardcore fans (albeit at a pretty huge price to match). Its not just reissues of albums either; there’s a raft of previously unavailable music making this quite the collector’s item.

How come then, that the very same boxset is available on Amazon as a digital download – albeit sans DVD content – for just £7.49? [Update: link removed as item no longer available for sale]

I took a look around, and this boxset isn’t up on streaming services, nor is it on iTunes. So what gives? Have Amazon mistakenly made a digital version available? Is this some kind of exclusive deal?

The more I look around, the more I’m presuming this to be some kind of error on Amazon’s part. Certainly Universal have no reason to limit the availability of this item if they were making a digital version available, and to be blunt if they were picking an exclusive partner I’m not sure Amazon would be the one as they simply don’t generate much revenue for labels via the digital download side, where iTunes dominates the market completely.

So – can anyone shed some light on this? Only 258 songs for £7.49 may even beat streaming services in the “how little can music be sold for?” stakes…

Update: the keen-eyed Adam Webb has just informed me the same release is also on Play.com for just £1.99!

Update 2: The Amazon digital version has now been taken down, leading me to conclude this was a clerical error somewhere along the line. Play.com’s version remains on sale – for now…

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3 thoughts on “Amazon selling 258 song, 17 CD John Martyn boxset as a download for… £7.49

  1. David Balfour says:

    I was tempted to buy this and then had a crisis of conscience. Although I’d love to have this collection for that price, the underlying feeling is that this is an obvious mistake and that I’d be denying the due royalties to his estate/family (provided of course any get paid out by the label). maybe I’m too trusting or naive, maybe it is indeed a ‘strategy’

  2. Darren says:

    If it was a pricing error on Amazon’s (and now Play’s) part, would they not be obliged to compensate the label to the full amount anyway?

  3. David Balfour says:

    you’re right, if pricing error was on store side and the delivered xml said the correct wholesale price they would indeed have to pay full royalties. very curious.

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