Apple renews fixed-pricing deals with major labels [updated] | iLounge News

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Apple renews fixed-pricing deals with major labels [updated]

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, May 1, 2006
News Categories: iTunes

Despite a recent push for variable song pricing by some in the music industry, Apple has reportedly renewed contracts with the four major record labels to keep songs on the iTunes Music Store priced at 99 cents each. “The agreements came after months of bargaining, and were a defeat for music companies that had been pushing for a variable pricing model,” reports the Financial Times. Of the music industry’s big four record labels, executives at Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG have all expressed their support for variable pricing. Apple CEO Steve Jobs last year famously called the record companies “greedy” for considering to raise song prices.

Update: Apple has released an official statement confirming the news. “We’ve renewed our agreements with the major music companies and we’re pleased to continue offering iTunes customers music at 99 cents per song from a library of over 3 million songs,” an Apple representative said in a statement.

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Thanks Mr. Jobs!

Posted by ludite on May 1, 2006 at 3:37 PM (PDT)


Way to go Apple!

Posted by macwayne on May 1, 2006 at 3:40 PM (PDT)


Whoo Hoo!  Now if we can only get some of that video content up here in Canada.

Posted by Tim on May 1, 2006 at 4:15 PM (PDT)


This contract renewal has both its good points as well as bad.  The good thing is that new releases won’t be $1.99 or $2.49.  The bad thing is that older catalog titles won’t be $0.59 or $0.79.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on May 1, 2006 at 4:24 PM (PDT)


How many iTunes songs sold? Somewhere in the BILLIONS?Apparently someone thinks that sales rate X .99c is just not enough money….....

Glad to see someone stand up to the cartel that is the recording industry . Bravo Mr. Jobs smile

Posted by ArcticW on May 1, 2006 at 4:28 PM (PDT)


Awsome news…shame how we’re about a decade behind the rest of the world here in New Zealand though.

Posted by CODACAT on May 1, 2006 at 5:05 PM (PDT)


“This contract renewal has both its good points as well as bad.  The good thing is that new releases won’t be $1.99 or $2.49.  The bad thing is that older catalog titles won’t be $0.59 or $0.79.”

I agree. I never use iTunes anyway.. but might consider it if I could some older music for $.59/song.


Posted by Josh Powell in VA on May 1, 2006 at 6:53 PM (PDT)


Subscription service is the way of the future.  Fan boys can deny it now, but they will be the first to turn around and say how wonderful of an idea it is as soon as iTMS is on-board with it.

Owning/buying a library in a format that will be obsolete in a coupl years is a losing proposition.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on May 1, 2006 at 8:49 PM (PDT)


I think it’s fair to say that there would be far less material under .99 than there would have been over .99 if the record companies had gotten their way. Older music of recognized merit would probably have been in the above .99 category. This is a big win for the consumer.

Posted by elob on May 1, 2006 at 9:47 PM (PDT)


“Subscription service is the way of the future.”

We’ve all heard this before…many times.  Sorry, it ain’t happenin’

Posted by The Raven on May 2, 2006 at 6:39 AM (PDT)


“Subscription service is the way of the future.”

Sorry, I disagree.  I don’t mind paying for music when I buy it, but I’m sure in hell not going to pay for it on a monthly basis.  I just don’t think renting music is a good idea.

Posted by ucfgrad93 on May 2, 2006 at 8:25 AM (PDT)


You know, I’m not so sure I’m bothered. I love iTunes and its catalogue, but often I find that what I want is available more cheaply from CD retailers. You just have to be picky. And I generally prefer ripping at a higher bit rate than iTunes provides. Still, great product and nothing else come close!

Posted by drevo_uk in UK on May 2, 2006 at 8:30 AM (PDT)


I just don’t think renting music is a good idea.

Not everyone thinks this way, however. Renting is significantly cheaper in the long run if it’s only about having something…anything…to listen to. There are advantages to being able to rotate out tired music that someone doesn’t give a rat’s a** about anymore without feeling like it’s throwing money down the toilet when purchasing that same music and getting bored with down the road.

Posted by flatline response on May 2, 2006 at 9:04 AM (PDT)


Of course some prefer renting music instead of buying it! That’s why these customers (the other 20% of the market) have chosen to do so at other e-music stores… all together. It’s all about choice, and it’s clear which option is the most popular and preferred: buying songs at iTMS.

Posted by rolando on May 2, 2006 at 3:24 PM (PDT)


Why change to a subsciption service when iTunes is hugely successful with what they are doing now? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Posted by Aidyl on May 2, 2006 at 4:55 PM (PDT)



It’s broken, but nobody knows it yet.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on May 2, 2006 at 8:18 PM (PDT)


It seems like no one ever mentions Emusic—they’re a subscription service with no DRM restrictions, there’s no “renting” and they carry a lot of what iTunes doesn’t. I have nothing against iTunes, I’ve bought a handful of major-label album downloads from them, but I’ve gone to Emusic for everything else!

Posted by lachic on May 2, 2006 at 8:49 PM (PDT)


“Owning/buying a library in a format that will be obsolete in a coupl years is a losing proposition.”

Right.  Nobody switched from records to cassettes, or cassettes to CDs, what fools Apple is to think that releasing something in a format would be a good idea.

Look I know that I spend more money on music per song than I would if there was a subscription service.  But the nice thing is during lean times, when I’m between jobs or after Christmas when I’m paying off the gifts on my MasterCard, I can stop buying music for awhile until I’m back up to a fiscal level where I can afford to spend cash.

With a subscription service if I fell on hard enough times for long enough I’d suddenly find myself with none of the music I’ve accumulated over the past few years, because it was all rented.  So now I no longer have not just new music, but any music.

I’d rather pay a bit more and know it’s mine.  Besides you can burn it all to CDs and then re-import it into either an open MP3 format, or anything else. 

It’s more likely that Napster or other subscription services will go out of business in ten years, thus taking your entire music library with them, than computers will start shipping with no CD interface thus not allowing you to export and reimport your songs from iTunes in the event that Apple for some reason changes the AAC format without offering a way to transform the songs into the new format.

In all honesty digital music in AAC, MP3 or what ever format, is a better investment than CDs because you’re always going to have a computer, but like cassette deck it might start to get harder to buy MP3 players.

“It’s broken, but nobody knows it yet.”

Just you I suppose.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on May 2, 2006 at 9:13 PM (PDT)



You make some great points, but the one you’re missing is that things are changing a lot faster now than they did in the past.

Yahoo’s subscription service is only $4.99 a month for unlimited listening and transfers to your portable player.  I know it doesn’t work with the iPod, but would you love it if it did?  I would love it if it did and I wouldn’t buy another song from iTMS.

When buying music I believe the investment in a CD is much better than the investment in a download.  The Sting CD I bought in 1988 is the same one on the shelves today—the same will not be said about a song from iTMS in a few years.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on May 3, 2006 at 12:52 AM (PDT)


lachic: “...there’s no renting…” with Emusic.

What happens when you cancel your subscription?  Can you still listen to the music you downloaded?

Posted by ucfgrad93 on May 3, 2006 at 6:41 AM (PDT)

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