The former Warner Music UK chairman, who run the major from 1983 to 1998, made the suggestion yesterday at In The City in a panel with REM manager Bertis Downs.
Dickins, also a former BPI chairman, told the event in Manchester that initiatives like the Digital Economy Act would "never work for the music industry". And, while he added he was not an advocate of free, he proposed a micro-economy system where albums sold for as little as £1.
This has provoked a furious reaction from ERA's Quirk who says, "Rob Dickins is part of the generation of executives who benefited personally from the age of £14 CDs and gave the music business a bad name and so it is ironic to hear him espouse the cause of the £1 album. Basic arithmetic indicates that this is a non-starter."