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iTunes Hits $1.29 But EMI, Amazon And Walmart Buck Pricing Trend

Yesterday iTunes dropped all remaining DRM and launched variable pricing.  As predicted, the major labels and some major distributed indies upped prices on hit product to $1.29. 

EMI EMI Holds At 99 Cents
EMI appears to be the one major label not jumping on the price increase bandwagon. A Wednesday morning survey of iTunes showed hit product by Coldplay and other EMI artists still at $.99. During the original transition to DRM-free, first mover EMI had been criticized for demanding a $1.29 price point. This time EMI may be waiting to gauge consumer reaction before raising prices.
Walmart logoAmazonMP3logo
 Amazon & WalMart Hold Down Prices
The price of hit product from Sony, Universal and WMG also rose to $1.29 on Napster and Rhapsody yesterday. But while they increased prices slightly, Amazon and  thus far kept them well below $1.29 at $.99 and $.94 cents respectedly.  All download stores pay the same wholesale price; so presumably Amazon and Walmart are accepting much slimmer margins to offer lower prices than iTunes.

Sony new logo Sony Forces $1.29 On All Stores
The glaring exception is hit product from Sony and its distributed labels which is priced at $1.29 an all retailers including Amazon and Walmart. Unlike all other labels and distributors, Sony offers its music to all download stores using the so-called agency model which enables the label group to control the final sale price.