Port Washington, N.Y. — A recent decline in the average price consumers pay for CD albums appears to be accelerating, reaching a new low of $13.29 in the first quarter of 2004, according to data from New York-based market research firm NPD Group. The price point dropped nearly 4% from the average CD price in the first quarter of 2003, while in the previous year the average price dropped only 2.5%. In 2002, the average price was $13.90. The report noted that titles 18-months old or older now cost on average $12.99, and also that prices at mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart and Target fell by 5% over the past year. "The recording industry has had to deal with a changing market over the past few years, which was fueled in part by file-sharing," said NPD Music president Russ Crupnick. "Everyone also recognizes the increasing competition for entertainment dollars, as DVDs and video games are growing at double digit rates. Record labels are diligently trying to respond to consumer feedback about high CD prices, and to the relative value of music."