British supermarket giant Tesco has slashed the cost of chart CDs to a record low in the UK.

Tesco has been selling the top 40 CDs for £11.99 (US$17.10), but believes that lowering prices will increase sales. The chain hopes to become Britain's biggest music supplier.

Best-selling albums will now cost just £8.50, up to 40% cheaper than the average £12.91 charged by traditional high street music stores.

This average is much higher than other countries, fuelling the perception of a "rip-off Britain". A government inquiry has found chart CDs cost an average of £8.88 in Germany and £9.18 in the US, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has condemned retailers for keeping CDs as one of the most over-priced products in the country. The sheer cost of CDs has prompted a huge black music market.

Tesco's entertainment director Steven Garton told the Sunday Mirror: "Lower prices would enable more people to buy CDs regularly, expanding the entire music market."