EMI expects Apple to hike prices on iTunes within a year | iLounge News


EMI expects Apple to hike prices on iTunes within a year

Record label EMI Group expects Apple to raise the price of popular songs and cut prices of less popular tracks on the iTunes Music Store within a year. The Wall Street Journal reports [paid sub. req.] that EMI Music CEO Alain Levy had discussed the issue with Apple CEO Steve Jobs and believes Apple will end its single 99-cent pricing.

“We are having discussions which make us believe it will happen in the next 12 months,” Levy reportedly said at a press conference in London for the company’s half-year profit results. “There is a common understanding that we will have to come to a variable pricing structure. The issue is when. There is a case for superstars to have a higher price.”

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They just don’t get it.  You want to raise the price?  Fine, then I’ll go back to finding the tracks elsewhere.  99 cents is right at that boundary.

YOu greedy record execs are already getting free money from iTunes.  No distribution, production, or marketing costs associated with it at all.  And you want to complain.  Greedy, greedy, greedy.

Posted by m. sherman on November 16, 2005 at 12:55 PM (CST)


Raise the price on superstar tracks? Those are the easiest to find and pirate in the scene.

Seems to me they want to reduce the prices more for the less popular tracks so that the recording industry can screw those artists out of even more cash, because, lets get real here, record companies will never reach into their own pockets for any kind of price decrease.

Posted by CBA on November 16, 2005 at 12:59 PM (CST)


m. sherman is right. 99 cents (or 79 pence here in the UK) is the sweet spot. Any more than that, and you might as well go and buy the CD, or download it from a P2P service, which is what a lot of people will go back to doing. iTunes is meant to be the great hope in persuading people to download music legally (i.e. pay for it) and now it looks like that’ll all go to waste because of a few greedy music conglomerates.

Also, what gives these so-called “superstars”, with their mind-numbing commercial drivel, the right to charge more for their music, especially when they make so much already, being “superstars” and everything? They already command more money per CD sale because of their elevated status, and now even their AACs will be overpriced? Disgusting.

iTunes has built a legal music download culture, and Apple would be very wise not to destroy that and become a puppet of the big conglos.

Posted by Zac on November 16, 2005 at 1:04 PM (CST)


well, it’s happended already. when you take a look at ITMS closely, some albums are not $9.99. for example, Madonna new album is now $12.99, new Eminem album will be $17.99, new Shakira will be $10.89. so Apple already broke the price. unfortunately, we will see more rasing price coming first quarter next year.

Posted by archurban on November 16, 2005 at 1:13 PM (CST)


I must agree with m. sherman and add that $0.99 is right at the edge of “worthiness” in my book. Many ITMS titles are available at my local record store for only a little bit more -  often only $11 as opposed to $10 for ITMS. At that level, I often buy the CD for the obvious reasons: higher audio quality, artwork and notes, and total freedom to use my purchase as I see fit. If ITMS raised the price any more, this decision is moot - I am buying the CD for sure.

I would argue that if the labels DROPPED the ITMS price to say, $6.99 for a full CD (albeit compromised with 128kbps bitrate and no packaging) they would actually sell a lot more product. Heck, that would do it for me in many cases and I would purchase quite a bit more from ITMS and fewer CDs.

Superstars? Aren’t they the shlockiest crap that I see on ITMS? Heck, those artists would have to be at $1.99 per CD for me to bother with, if that. Free isn’t cheap enough for many of them, IMHO.

Posted by BradPDX on November 16, 2005 at 1:17 PM (CST)


If iTunes were to lower the cost of a full album, I’d be more inclined to purchase it there, rather than buy it at the store, put it on my iPod, then sell it on eBay for close to retail.

Posted by boilerjay on November 16, 2005 at 1:23 PM (CST)


Of *course* they’re predicting that Apple will hike their prices.  EMI wants them to hike prices.  Does any business *ever* predict *anything* that would make investors feel less secure investing in them?  Of course not.  While honest, it would also be *stupid*.

Posted by Andy S. on November 16, 2005 at 1:59 PM (CST)


No opinion as to whether this will actually happen or not or what the ramifications will be. But I will say that if they expect us to pay the same amount for digital tracks as we pay for a CD, then I want commensurate value. The digital booklet is a nice step. But the big sticking point for me has always been the substandard bitrate of tracks from the ITMS. 128 kbps AAC, while passable, does not cut it for me or a lot of other audiophiles. That disparity in quality is really what drives me to continue buying CDs and ripping them in a format and bitrate that I feel is superior. The only tracks I end up buying from Apple are Music Store exclusives.

Posted by Hrothgar on November 16, 2005 at 2:45 PM (CST)


the reason this is stupid is because your downloading lossy music for pretty much the same price as a real cd album.

Posted by perplex on November 16, 2005 at 2:57 PM (CST)


yay, c’mon people EMI can’t just pay Robbie Williams £80million (sorry US readers if the name doesn’t ring any bells) and expect to recoup that charging us £0.79 a track. Bring it on ! I deserve to pay more, can I mail you a cheque?

No to iTunes / No to DRM .... I just bought my first online tracks from bleep.com the other day. Service wasn’t as slick as iTunes but there’s no DRM.

Posted by minimalistmatt on November 16, 2005 at 3:42 PM (CST)


If you can wait three months or so, you can get nearly all new releases on CD for $5.99 with free shipping from http://www.yourmusic.com/
They currently offer close to 15,000 titles, all priced at $5.99 per disc. If YourMusic, (a service of BMG) can offer discs this cheap, then they sure don’t need to raise the prices in online music stores.

Posted by Galley on November 16, 2005 at 5:20 PM (CST)


If they practise price discrimination, that’s a good thing. Imagine this…. Madonna comes up with a new track, and only half the usual people buy it because we know that it will be discounted after 6 months…. Those who wait get a discount… if no one buys, the Big 5 record companies will be compelled to drop prices. Consumers like us have the power to affect the market… people vote….

Anyway new tunes are always on the radio..

as much as i prefer CDs i have decided not to buy anymore since i keeping getting issues with DRM and copy protection.

Say no to the Evil Five.

Posted by urban on November 16, 2005 at 6:25 PM (CST)


It doesn’t cost any more money to see “Ocean’s 11” than it does to see “March of the Penguins”. Why should it be different in the music industry? The music execs will eventually f*** themselves.

Posted by JB on November 16, 2005 at 6:28 PM (CST)


so basically this reads you have to pay more for crap and less for the good stuff. fine with me.

hopefully this will have an effect on the charts. since itunes has does effect chart position… and people will probably not be as likely to pay $1.49 or $1.99 for britney spears…

Posted by Travis on November 16, 2005 at 6:47 PM (CST)


Com’on everybody!
How can .99 cents per DRM song be a good deal?
what is the cost of it? It is already on a server, it “almost” not require transportation, sales workers and other stuff..

Posted by Billy Gun on November 16, 2005 at 7:54 PM (CST)


You pigs of the record industry will find that your profits will go south. You deserve it for the crap you now market. But, this may benefit the users who still like quality. The old songs have it; the new ones are done by talentless degenerates who couldn’t sing on a stage withjust their voices. What voices. The only voices left are country and latin. Go ahead lower the old; raise the new and see your economic demise. Kill a good thing.
Burt Yust
Monticello, NY

Posted by Macburt on November 16, 2005 at 9:09 PM (CST)


You Know what I paid for Madonna’s New album yesterday at Media Play? $8.99 So explain to me how even $12.99 is a good deal ? For $9.99 it’s a convienience, for anymore I can wait for the CD.

Posted by Scarpad on November 16, 2005 at 10:36 PM (CST)


This is just going to drive me into stealing music…morons.

Posted by Deathcabcalls on November 16, 2005 at 11:02 PM (CST)


Don’t steal music when you can get it for free!  Harvey Danger has their latest album for download for free in HQ MP3, and I discovered Steadman last week; they have their entire catalog available for free.  These are the kinds of acts who should be getting the big bucks, not the crap the labels want so much money for. 

Oh yeah, what’s the story with All of MP3?  Anybody try that one out here?  From what I’ve read, the encoding options is the sort of thing Apple should consider in iTMS; heck, that could be the variable price structure!  Keep everything at current prices, but a little more for higher quality.  Just a thought…

Posted by Nushmut on November 17, 2005 at 12:04 AM (CST)


Well thankfully this is not his decision to make.  How much longer does he think he can push Steve without pissing him off?  I think Alain Levy and EMI are going to wind up looking very stupid.  I still feel that this is part of Jobs “master plan” of drawing them in to raise prices while he competes with them with 99 cent songs.

Posted by Frank Z on November 17, 2005 at 12:25 AM (CST)

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