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QotD: iTunes Price Increase

Question: If record companies forced variable pricing on iTunes, how would you react? (NYTimes.com)

My Answer: I'd stop buying music from iTunes. $0.99 is just the right price. Record companies make something like $0.65 per track downloaded from iTunes, last time I checked. Screw 'em.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

7 Responses to "QotD: iTunes Price Increase"

  1. I wouldn't buy anything that costs over 99 cents.

  2. Hey, we pay 79p ($1.43) per song here in the UK. I'm reluctant to pay that much, but figure it's legal and the song quality is better. If they started making them more expensive, I guess it's back to Limewire for me!

  3. I'm with you. 99c is just right. Anything more is too much.

    I'd go back to buying used CDs, which is what I used to do before iTMS.

  4. I won't buy at more then $0.99. It's the perfect price point. I'm with Daniel, I'l buy used. Thankfully, places like Amazon and Half.com have good prices on stuff, without the outrageous shipping costs of eBay lately. What's the deal with that?

  5. The greed of the major labels never ceases to amaze (and disgust) me. Hmm... Apple's iTMS as a distribution center cuts the record label cost of distribution down to... zero? what cost is involved in letting apple sell music? i cant think of anything. So they still have the "well it costs us billions of dollars to find the REAL talents like brittany et al." excuse, even then, $0.65 per track of profit isn't enough?

    The only real reason they want a variable price is because their business model is "make an album with 1 or 2 hits, and charge the customers for the 14 other tracks they dont want." with itunes, only the good music sells, and so they want to increase the cost of the songs that'll sell, instead of giving artists more time and money to put out CDs with MORE tracks that will sell.

    fuck 'em. I'd never pay a cent over .99 and it's straight back to pirating if they ask me to. I just hope if it DOES happen, the media picks up on the fact that it's the record industry being greedy (though i'm SURE it'll be spun to make apple look bad.)

  6. In Japan, but we already have variable pricing. At 100 yen per song, I'd very likely buy 10,000~20,000 yen worth of music a year. Current pricing is variable between 150~200 yen per song, and I haven't bought yet. For the same reason I won't buy CDs here at their current usual price of 3500 yen.

    Instead I pick up used discs, swap with friends, and rent CDs (we have CD rental shops here, similar to video rental shops... in fact, usually the same shop, and pay ~400 yen a rental).

    For reference, the current exchange rate with US$ is 110 yen to the dollar.

  7. Though not a direct answer to the question, (I did answer above though), one quote in particular struck me as amusingly indicative of the record companies' general stance on business:

    A sore point for some music executives is the fact that Apple generates much more money selling iPod players than it does as a digital music retailer, leading to complaints that Mr. Jobs is profiting more from tracks downloaded to fill the 21 million iPods sold so far than are the labels that produced the recordings.Andrew Lack, the chief executive of Sony BMG, discussed the state of the overall digital market at a media and technology conference three months ago and said that Mr. Jobs "has got two revenue streams: one from our music and one from the sale of his iPods.""I've got one revenue stream," Mr. Lack said, joking that it would require a medical professional to locate. "It's not pretty."

    It's as though the recording company execs believe they have some holy entitlement to profit from anything and everything related to the music their artists produce.

    Apple had the foresight to diversify their product line; that's a smart business move on their part. Last I heard Sony also happens to sell digital music players and they also happen to license their music to services whose format works on their players. If Apple's player and service happen to be more popular than Sony's that's tough luck for Sony. They don't automatically have some God-given right to profit from their competition's player, though I would argue they do so indirectly, as it is. It doesn't take a PhD to understand that the popularity of the iPod and its ease of interoperability with the iTMS has benefitted the record companies with increased sales.

    Between taking the law into their own hands by threatening copyright violators with a costly and likely protracted lawsuit if they don't settle out of court for X dollars, their lobbying of governments worldwide for amendments to copyright law, and really, their business model in general, it's surprising how many people are still willing to support them at all at any price. I'll live with used CDs and live shows for the time being, or support any good independent artists.


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