I'm sure casual music traders scared off peer-to-peer networks by the RIAA's latest wave of subpoenas will be happy to see lower CD prices, but I'm a little under whelmed. Maybe it's the fact that I live in Canada, but I've never paid more than the equivalent of $13 for a single-disc new release. Heck, I've bought most of the double CDs in my collection for less than $19US. I can't imagine that major labels have dramatically different wholesale CD pricing for Canada and the US, which means that American CD retailers probably have a lot to do with higher CD prices.
Whether Universal's price cuts can bolster retail music sales and encourage other labels to drop their prices remains to be seen, but I fear the timing of Universal's announcement. Students are just now heading back to school and plugging into campus networks with enough bandwidth to significantly increase the volume of peer-to-peer song swapping traffic. Universal's price cuts should encourage current CD buyers to purchase more music more often, but the cuts probably won't be enough to attract peer-to-peer song swappers used to getting music for free.