Sunday, March 29, 2009

iTunes Hiking Up Prices

Price Increases on iTunes to Start in April

New York Times; March 27, 2009

As Apple announced in January, the company will incorporate a new $1.29 pricing structure for selected hit singles and some classic tracks on iTunes. The price increase — to $1.29 from 99 cents — will go into effect April 7, sources said.

Apple has not yet publicly announced the date for the increase.

The move is fueled in part by a strategy by the major record labels to accrue more dollars from digital downloads, as sales of compact discs continue to fall. The bump takes the price of a song over the $1 mark; it remains to be seen whether that psychological hurdle will affect sales on the Apple music site.

The iTunes store has reported sales of more than six billion songs since 2003, and it recently began selling as well as renting movies in high definition.


Reactions? Thoughts? Angry? Upset? Happy? How do you feel?

It's not too much of a price increase, and as an advocate of music increasing in perceived value, I feel this is a positive change. For crying out loud, a bottle of soda costs you more than a song -- and I'm here to say: music is more important than soda.

I recently had the chance to sit down for a lunch meeting with someone who is well respected in the music community, and wise with experience. He said that music is becoming like water. Water is necessary to live -- if we don't have some, in just a few hours, we will be dead. However, water's percieved value has dropped off -- especially in the United States -- to the point that it is expected to be at every meal at a restaurant for free.

We can have the illegal downloading debate every day, and it will never change. Am I guilty of illegal downloading? Sure. I think you'd be hard pressed to find any music enthusiast who is innocent of it. The reality is -- I support the artist. If I like the song, I will buy it. We cannot continue to bite the hand that feeds us, and expect the music to come back to us in the quality that it was. Think about Classic Rock radio stations. The songs on those stations are timeless. Do you think they will have radio stations twenty years from now that play Katy Perry and everyone will sing along and think -- "Wow! What a timeless song that "I Kissed A Girl" is!".

I've got news, people. They won't. But without the incentive of being compensated for your hard work and creativity -- the timelessness will cease to exist.


1 comment:

Nikki said...

If I lived in the US, I would probably be OK with the price hike but I don't. I live in a third world country where I'm one of the lucky few who can actually buy physical records without sacrificing say a week's worth of food or water and I can't always buy.

The thing that made me admire iTunes so much is that even if I wasn't benefiting, it gave people a chance to buy songs at a low price while they were still able to ear even a bit. The lower the price is, the more people will buy and the less people will pirate music.

I'd have to admit that yes, to a certain extent the artists deserve more but they've found other ways to earn a fortune. Going on tour for example - they earn thousands for an arena show or writing and publishing their own songs - that earns a lot as well.

My point is that we need an equal balance of earning and helping to stop piracy and the 99-cent policy gave that. I can't make any predictions because I don't live there and I don't look at money the same way you do, but if you were to ask me, I wouldn't buy all the songs I want to under that price. I'd buy a few, but not all.

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