Reader Editorial: iTunes Price Changes – Beginning of the End, or Natural Evolution?

Because of continued reader interest in the topic of iTunes Music Store pricing, and developments on that subject today, we have created a new Reader Editorial as a discussion hub for your opinions. If you haven’t read today’s news yet, here’s a brief summary of what’s going on.

Over the last several months, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been publicly challenged by certain record labels to alter the iTunes Music Store’s famous 99-cent-per-song, $9.99-per-album pricing scheme for music in the United States. Though Jobs has responded fiercely in public to such requests, there are signs that iTunes pricing is readying for changes behind the scenes. International iTunes Music Stores have already begun to adopt flexible pricing for single songs, numerous albums are now selling at prices other than $9.99, and premium-priced “deluxe” versions of albums with “extra” music videos and songs have been increasing steadily in number.

Today, there was a surprise twist to the announcement that certain NBC, Sci-Fi Network, and USA Network shows would be available through the iTunes Music Store: several offerings have skipped the $1.99 per show pricing announced by Jobs at the October launch of iTunes 6 and the fifth-generation iPod. Specifically, Late Night With Conan O’Brien is selling full-length programs for $9.99 each, and only providing 6 to 12 minute sketches for $1.99. Sci-Fi’s four-part Battlestar Galactica Miniseries is available only as a $15.99 “album

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