The new iTunes pricing method
At MacWorld ’09 in early January, Apple announced that they would introduce a new pricing system for iTunes, with songs costing either $.69, $.99 or $1.29, depending on how much the record label and artist wanted to charge– which really means based on the song’s popularity.
Apple, true to it’s word, released this new pricing system yesterday, and I’m not gonna lie: this ain’t cool. The economy is still in the toilet, and their gonna raise prices? Doesn’t really make much sense to me, and already 33 out of the iTunes Top 100 songs are going for this new price, and this new pricing has only been out 3 days! The other 77 songs are staying at the previous $.99 for now, though I don’t think it will stay that way for long. See now how this whole popularity thing changes the price?
I also don’t get why they’re giving Amazon and other services a chance to gain some ground in the online music store; you can also get DRM Free songs (DRM= Digital Rights Management, which is the copy protection previously found on iTunes songs, limiting song sharing on computers and iPods. iTunes Plus now removes DRM from the iTunes songs, though movies and TV shows still have them) at Amazon’s Mp3 store for as low as $.79 (they too have the $.99 and $1.29 price listings as well), including a majority of the songs on their Top 100 being either $.79 or $.99 (though Amazon also has a few $1.29 songs– which we hope they keep to a few and try to make up ground vs Apple and iTunes with the cheaper pricing). I mean, the number 2 song currently on both lists– Poker Face by Lady Gaga– sells for $.79 on Amazon, and $1.29 on iTunes, and their the exact same song! (And yes you could say it’s only a $.50 difference, but when you buy a lot of songs, it’ll add up to be much more pretty quickly).
I know that most of this really ends up hurting the consumer, but there is one good thing out of all this though in my opinion– the fact that now all iTunes songs are DRM free. This is something that is actually good for us consumers as we can all now listen to our higher priced songs on any device we want (though just so you know, to make this happen tech wise, they didn’t need to raise the price, as evidenced by the $.69 songs which are the exact same DRM free quality as their $1.29 counterparts).
So while its great that now all iTunes songs are DRM free, I’m still not gonna pay over a dollar for a song when I can get it for less than a dollar at another, reputable site like Amazon.
What are your thoughts– you agree or disagree with the new iTunes pricing? And are you still gonna get songs from iTunes even though they raised the prices? You gonna switch to Amazon, or another site like Rhapsody? Or have you stopped buying your songs entirely and instead go the more illegal, torrent (or otherwise known as file sharing) route to get your stuff ? Let us know in the comments.