How Much Would It Cost To Buy The Top Grammy-Nominated Albums Before Streaming?

An unrecognisable male customer searches through and selects a second hand vinyl record from a shelf in a record store, hands only, horizontal composition.
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The 63rd Grammy Awards are on Sunday, March 14, and many can’t wait to see which top-nominated albums and artists rack up the most wins. No doubt, you have your favorites, and you feel pretty well-versed on them because streaming offers cheap and easy access to every song on a record.

Read: Bestselling Grammy Winners of All Time

Of course, it hasn’t always been this way. Once upon a time, people actually had to go to a physical store and purchase music — in various formats, depending on the era.

The Recording Industry Association of America defines these eras as — Vinyl, 1958-1979; Cassette, 1979-1992; CD, 1992-2003; Digital, 2003-2011; and Streaming, 2011 to the present. More than just a different format, the various ways to listen to music over the years have impacted its price, with streaming the most cost-effective.

See: How Much Are This Year’s Top Grammy Nominees Worth?

Streaming is now the most prevalent way to listen to music, but many artists still offer a variety of purchase options. This makes it easy to gauge the price difference between formats, as they’re all displayed in one place.

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Here’s a look at the cost to purchase this year’s Grammy nominees for album of the year across several formats.

Find Out: The 27 Richest Women in Music

‘Chilombo,’ Jhené Aiko

Inspired by Hawaii’s landscape and traditional music, “Chilombo” is Jhené Aiko’s third studio album. An exclusive “Chilombo” deluxe three-piece vinyl set is priced at $40, the CD costs $13.99 and the MP3 is $11.49.

‘Black Pumas’ (Deluxe Edition), Black Pumas

The deluxe edition of the group’s debut album features many upgrades, including three new songs, live in-studio recordings and a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” It’s available on vinyl for $40, a CD costs $20, cassette tape for $15 and MP3 for $12.49.

More: Musicians Set To Lose Millions to COVID-19

‘Everyday Life,’ Coldplay

Coldplay’s eighth studio album, “Everyday Life,” is a double album divided into two parts — “Sunrise” and “Sunset.” It costs $30 on vinyl, $19 on CD and $9.49 on MP3.

‘Djesse Vol. 3,’ Jacob Collier

His fourth studio album, Jacob Collier features plenty of guest artists on “Djesse Vol. 3,” including Kimbra, Tank and the Bangas and Jessie Reyez. The LP is priced at $29, the CD is $14 and the MP3 album is $9.49.

Read: How Rich Are These Past Grammy Winners?

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‘Women in Music Pt. III,’ Haim

The group’s third album, the Haim sisters told “Women in Music Pt. III”  is their favorite record yet. It’s available on vinyl for $25.98, cassette for $15.98, CD for $11.98 and digital download for $12.99.

‘Future Nostalgia,’ Dua Lipa

Featuring a disco-pop vibe, “Future Nostalgia” is the second studio album from Dua Lipa. Buy it on vinyl for around $30, $13.95 on CD or an $11 digital download.

See: How Taylor Swift Built Her Music Empire

‘Hollywood’s Bleeding,’ Post Malone

Singer-rapper Post Malone’s third studio album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” features a star-studded guest list including Halsey, Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott. It’s available on vinyl for $36, CD for $14 and MP3 for $12.49.

‘Folklore,’ Taylor Swift

Queen of pop Taylor Swift surprised fans with her eighth studio album, “Folklore,” in July 2020. The album costs $26 on vinyl, $11.99 on CD and $7.99 for a digital download.

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Last updated: March 12, 2021

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About the Author

Jennifer Taylor is a West Coast-based freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about anything and everything. Since earning her MBA, personal finance has been her favorite topic, as she’s passionate about writing stories that educate, inform and empower. Specifically, she specializes in budgeting, debt repayment, savings and retirement.
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