Apple’s iTunes to begin flexible pricing April 7

Posted on: March 30, 2009

In Thursday’s (3/26) Los Angeles Times, Dawn C. Chmielewski reports, “The world’s largest music store, Apple’s iTunes, plans to boost the price of many hit singles and selected classic tracks to $1.29 on April 7, breaking the psychological barrier of 99 cents in what could be the first big test of how much consumers are willing to pay to download individual songs. Although the date for higher prices has not been publicly announced, Apple has been notifying record labels it will go into effect on that date, industry executives said. … Some music industry veterans are criticizing the 30% hike price, saying the timing is tone deaf because it comes in the midst of a recession and at a time when spending for online music appears to have reached a plateau. … Apple Inc. set the 99-cent-per-song rate in 2003 when it launched the iTunes Store. The company long resisted pressure from the music industry to allow flexible pricing, arguing that it would inhibit sales. Apple changed its tune in January, however, announcing that it would begin selling music at three prices: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29, based on wholesale costs set by the labels. … True to supply-and-demand economics, the price of music downloads will be geared to the artist’s popularity.”

Posted March 30, 2009