Digital Music

$1.29 Pricing: Another Missed Opportunity

Gun to head
Variable pricing has come to iTunes; and once again, the four major labels failed to use the opportunity that the long anticipated change provided to repair its damaged relationship with consumers.

Instead of delivering more value in the form of additional content along with the higher price, the major labels upped the price of their most popular titles almost 30% just as many consumers began getting comfortable with paying for downloads and in the middle of the worst economic downturn in decades.

The cost of adding album art, lyrics, interviews or even video and b-sides to a $1.29 "super single" would have been minimal, but the good will with consumers could have been enormous. 

Full story here.

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  1. So I’ve noticed that basically half of the Lady GaGa album is $1.29, along with the new Black Eyed Peas track (and all of her/their other hits for that matter). And because I have even more time on my hands, here’s a rundown of the 50 most downloaded songs no iTunes prices.
    Searching such catalog artists (both new and old) I found the following.
    2Pac had 7 songs at $0.69, and the rest priced at $0.99 out of 150.
    Eminem- 26 songs at $1.29, and the rest at $0.99 out of 150
    Britney Spears- 8 songs at $1.29, and the rest at $0.99 out of 150.
    I know those are three odd artists to report on, but really, besides the top downloaded songs, I couldn’t find very many interesting catalogs and long standing artists with any significant price variation. I searched Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, Coldplay, Muse, Madonna, Metallica, The Who, and so on, yet never found anyone who used the new scheme to their advantage (or disadvantage I think).
    So does this mean anything? Maybe they just haven’t taken “advantage” of it yet. Or maybe lots of artists really wont be fooled. I’m afraid the current pop hits will continue to be priced at $1.29, and that will just piss off the present day consumer even more. We’ll see.

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