Tech News – iTunes embraces 3-tier pricing

Well, it was reported in the LA Times that iTunes will finally do what the major labels have asked (for years) and embrace a 3-tier pricing scheme.

Within 6 years, iTunes has become an industry-leader in music sales revenue (usually close to #1 trailing only Wal-Mart). Starting in April, it looks like there will be three prices for song downloads — 69 cents, 99 cents, and $1.29. It looks like the top-tier price will be for superstar singles, while the lowest price point will be saved for developing and indie artists. To go along with the new pricing-strategy, Apple will also be able to get rid of the anti-copy software on tracks.

Per the LA Times article:

Apple said it had persuaded the major labels to drop their insistence on copy protections that restrict the number and type of devices that can play songs bought through iTunes.

It also received permission to sell downloads directly to the iPhone 3G via AT&T’s high-speed cellular network.

Personally, I think it’s about time iTunes did this, particularly if iTunes will let labels and artists choose their own pricing. I know some people might not like the thought of change, and this probably detracts (a bit) from the “simplicity” of Apple’s current model… but I think this benefits smaller artists, and might make customers more prone to purchasing music they might not be completely familiar with! The growth of digital downloads has grown exponentially over the years since iTunes’ first launch, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing up in 2009 or the near future. What are your thoughts?

For more information, check-out the full LA Times Article.


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