iTunes, too much of a good thing?

Permalink | August 28th, 2005

iTunes, too much of a good thing?

The whispering in the halls are telling of an upcoming battle royale, pitting the digital music marvel, iTunes music store, against the quickly aging (and very greedy) music industry. Two of the Four major labels are pressuring Steve Jobs to increase the price of songs from the current $0.99 offering.

Two and a half years after the music business lined up behind the chief executive of Apple, Steven P. Jobs, and hailed him and his iTunes music service for breathing life into music sales, the industry’s allegiance to Mr. Jobs has eroded sharply.

Mr. Jobs is now girding for a showdown with at least two of the four major record companies over the price of songs on the iTunes service.

If he loses, the one-price model that iTunes has adopted - 99 cents to download any song - could be replaced with a more complex structure that prices songs by popularity. A hot new single, for example, could sell for $1.49, while a golden oldie could go for substantially less than 99 cents.

Music executives who support Mr. Jobs say the higher prices could backfire, sending iTunes’ customers in search of songs on free, unauthorized file-swapping networks.

When will they learn?

[via NY Times]

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