iTunes DRM-Free & Variable Pricing


Just catching up after a brief trip to Minneapolis for the CNI Task Force Meeting. Great town... I discovered that the one night I was there, Morrissey was also in town. Wasn't really motivated to go (where's that mix tape Christine??), but it was great to see all the characters outside the venue smoking. I think I'd be as interested to see go for the audience as for the show.

Anyway, I came back to the official announcement that iTunes is now DRM free, and now has variable pricing. Meh. The price is still too high, even without DRM. eMusic is still my legitimate service of choice, depsite not being a big fan of subscription pricing. If iTunes could get songs down to about 10 cents per track, and focus on moving volume, then I'd be very excited. Right now I just can't see spending the price of an actual physical CD on a digital download of it.

Some more info...

iTunes.pngiTunes updated their pricing structure to a new system today, pricing tracks at $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29. They're calling it "variable pricing," but Gizmodo more accurately calls it the "Popular Songs Cost More Money" system.

The simple new system works like so: Most new releases and traditionally popular songs go for the more expensive $1.29 price point (where $0.99 used to be the flat standard). Apple tries to sugarcoat this expanded price point by suggesting that the $0.69 tracks will offset the 30% price hike, but guess what: You'll be hard pressed to find a single $0.69 song in the iTunes store. (They're there, but finding them is like a really boring scavenger hunt where the reward is an extremely crappy song.) What you will find is a whole lot more $1.29 tracks, and pretty much everything else selling for $0.99.

What's this mean, exactly? For our money, it means we'd heartily encourage anyone who'd been using iTunes for music purchases to give the Amazon MP3 store a closer look. If you're a loyal iTunes customer, let's hear how you feel about the new pricing structure in the comments. If iTunes isn't careful, they'll just push more folks to get iTunes music without iTunes' help.

[From iTunes Tiered Pricing Jacks Up Prices by 30 Percent [ITunes]]

1 comment:

  1. lol. Okay okay. I am slacking in my spreading the word of Moz ways. Soon. Very soon.