Major record labels re-sign for iTunes, prices may increase to $1.25 a song | iLounge News

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Major record labels re-sign for iTunes, prices may increase to $1.25 a song

“The five major record labels have been in negotiations recently with Apple over pricing and other issues associated with the year-old download service, which was launched to great fanfare last April.

All five of the deals - with Universal, Sony, BMG, EMI and Warner Music - have already been signed, sources say, and the new pricing is already being rolled out for albums.

EMI and Sony Music, which this week launched its own download service called Sony Connect, were said to be the most aggressive on pricing.

Under the terms of some of the deals, the prices for some of the most popular singles could rise to $1.25, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Songs have previously been priced at 99 cents across the board.”

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Comments

21

Some of the information in the NY article was incorrect. They state that the N.E.R.D. album is currently selling for $16.99 on the iTunes music store, which is incorrect. If you look it’s selling for $13.99. So far I havenít seen any song sell for $1.25 and I donít think Apple will flex on that. Itís their mainstay. Music companies can talk all they want so they can get more money, but I donít think they will get there way now that iTunes is doing better than any other music service.

I have to question any article that comes out about iTunes music store because apple has now become popular and successful at something that even PC people are using. I would think its more trash put out by other music services to bring Apple down to their level. If they offered a better experience with their service maybe people would use it.

Posted by metric152 on May 7, 2004 at 9:09 AM (PDT)

22

With the operative word being IF.

If the price per song, any song, goes up more than the .99 current tag, I simply will uninstall iTunes. Even if they donít raise the price I will uninstall it anyway. Itís not worth the money at the current bit rate that the songs are at. If they left prices at the current rate and raised the bit rates to 192 or the new Apple Lossess format, then I would use it on occasion.

Currently the best way to obtain legal music is to purchase from eBay or Half.com, used or new you can find excellent condition CDís for under $9 each. And if you feel like it, send off $5 to the artists, thatís still more than they get from the RIAA per CD sale. Iíve been doing this for 5 years now. And once in a while you just might even get a personal ďThank YouĒ from the artists.

Posted by Jack Handy on May 7, 2004 at 9:15 AM (PDT)

23

I always think it’s quite funny when americans complain about the price of music over there. Here in the UK most albums sell at between £9.99 and £13.99 on CD (often sold at less by some shops) which is roughly $18-$25. More fool us for paying those prices i guess, at least the RIAA won’t try and sue us for downloading from P2P

Posted by bob on May 7, 2004 at 9:18 AM (PDT)

24

I’m waiting to see what happens.  They might go ahead and try bumping up a very few songs for $1.25 to see what flies. 

If they do increase songs, consider a 1 week boycott - organize everyone to not buy ANY music from ANY source for 1 week; most of us can delay a trip to Best Buy, or Sam Goody’s for 7 days, or downloading from iTunes or any other online store for that time.  We still get our tunes 1 week later, but the RIAA will be in a world of hurt with 1 week’s of empty coffers.

Think about it.

Posted by Bill Clinton on May 7, 2004 at 9:26 AM (PDT)

25

This is just the beginning, fellas!

The price of downloaded music is going to steadily go up, and there’s not much we can do about it.  The Label/Apple are going to test the limits of what they can drain from our wallets, and only when it’s absolutely clear that we won’t go for it, will the prices come down.  The bottom line is that the masses want what they’re selling.  Music is a hot commodity.  Within a year the price will be $1.99 for hot songs (maybe even the reported $2.49 or more).

When iTMS started it’s competition was against free downloads, so 99cents a song was being compared to free.  Now, Apple who feels they have the best service and can comparatively price their product against other services charging 99cents by adding a premium—since iTMS is supposedly the best.  Doesn’t Apple charge a premium on the computers—since they are supposedly the best?

No way in hell the Labels were happy with getting 99cents for the hottest song on an album and losing the $11.99 CD sale they were used to before iTMS.  They’re going to make up for this with a pricing scheme that says the price of 3-4 singles equals the price of an entire album.  This is the way they’ve always done it in the past, and they will not abandon their tried and true business model—they think the can out smart the Net so to say.

The future of iTMS and others is:

Single $2.49
Album $9.99

And, the number of people downloading is still going to go up along with price of the singles.

Posted by BigSid in Los Angeles on May 7, 2004 at 9:44 AM (PDT)

26

So when does the price-fixing class action suit get started, like the one centering around keeping CD prices artificially high?

Posted by ronco on May 7, 2004 at 9:57 AM (PDT)

27

A quote in MacMinute on iTMS pricing, Apple denies a New York Post report that it plans to raise prices on some tracks to $1.25:

“The rumors aren’t true, Natalie Secqueira, an Apple’s Spokeswoman, told CBS Marketwatch.  “We have multi-year agreements with the record labels and our price remains 99 cents a track”. 

It seems like the other record labels are running scared, hence, the constant rumors of price raising by Apple hoping people will believe the lies and switch from using Apple’s iTMS to EMI’s and Sony’s newly launched Sony Connect, a download music store.  Now doesn’t this make you think!

I think you should be questioning this article not believing it.

Posted by iPodite on May 7, 2004 at 10:49 AM (PDT)

28

iPodite-

Your point is well taken, but I feel the article is more true than false.

Apple could very well have a multi-year pact, but what’s to say Apple doesn’t want more money from each song it sells.

Right now Apple gets about 10cents per song… do you thin they would rather get 50cents per song… wouldn’t they like to get $1 per song?  The point being that even if there is a pact, both parties could mutually ammend the pact to increase prices.

Trust me 99cents a song is too good to be true.  Other labels aren’t running scared, they’re just trying to get in the market a a price point they know the singles should be at.  99cents a song is going to be the death of the music industry, not a rebirth.

Posted by BigSid in Los Angeles on May 7, 2004 at 11:10 AM (PDT)

29

Hey this is the NY POST we’re talking about here, not exactly the paper of record. But you know what, they’re doing us all a favor by running that article. Let the RIAA know that if they’re suing pirate downloads at one end, and raising prices (!) for honest users at the other end, they’ll drive us all to alternatives. And let’s be real, what saves us is that there are more alternatives than ever. There’s streaming internet radio broadcasts, XM radio, Live 365 broadcasts. We can rip our CD collections - or those of our friends. We can buy from the cheaper services, burn CDs, and re-rip the songs. We can buy strictly used CDs. Or, those of you who, like me, have a good many songs (all my 26,000 songs are paid for, before the RIAA sends the goon squad) can simply say they’ve bought enough music for awhile and wait it out. There *is* competition, and it does work to keep prices in line. Think about when the 8-track was king, and realize how many more options we have today. But raise hell over rumors like this, absolutely!

Posted by Jeff on May 7, 2004 at 1:47 PM (PDT)

30

Jeff-

You got the right idea!

Buying used CD’s is one of the best things going.  Do you remember when the Labels tried to sue used CD stores?  Shameless on their part.

Posted by BigSid in Los Angeles on May 7, 2004 at 2:01 PM (PDT)

31

Good point, Sid, and a good reminder of the kind of people we’re forced to deal with in the record biz. Without Jobs and Apple (and the millions of folks out there who had been ripping tunes off their CDs for years), they never would have even considered this new way of distributing music. Even though this new business model looks to be saving the industry’s collective butt right now, they’re STUPID and GREEDY enough to kill this thing if left to their own devices. Don’t let ‘em!

Posted by Jeff on May 7, 2004 at 3:05 PM (PDT)

32

They will prolly only increase the price of the more popular singles to $1.25. However, I believe Apple can pull this off (price increase) by offering something in return, for example, higher bit rate for songs across the board. iTunes prices are dictated by the record lables, but I hope Apple can offer sumthing extra to compensate for the inevitable increase in prices.

Posted by noogabooga on May 7, 2004 at 3:33 PM (PDT)

33

Apple just released version 4.5.  A higher bit rate download would envolve a new version of iTunes.  I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Posted by jwc110869 in Rochester, NY on May 7, 2004 at 6:05 PM (PDT)

34

HAHA dumb@$$s a price raise will drive people back to downloading for free again. thank god I live in canada. The land of free music downloads!

Posted by WOLF MAN on May 8, 2004 at 7:30 AM (PDT)

35

For gods sake.

The New York Post.

I wouldn’t line a bird cage with it.

Besides, Jobs dismissed this.  It’s a RUMOR. 

http://www.ipodlounge.com/ipodnews_comments.php?id=3831_0_7_0_C

Apple denies iTMS price increase.

Besides, it wouldn’t be Apple’s doing.  The major record labels would be doing it.  Didn’t they get in trouble for price fixing on CD’s?  Now they’re doing it with digital downloads….

Darn….

Posted by Thomas_s on May 8, 2004 at 2:51 PM (PDT)

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