Thursday, September 22, 2005

iTunes, iPod, and 'value pricing'

MTV news writes about Steve Jobs and the record companies bickering over song pricing (Steve wants to keep the 99cent price, and the record companies want variable pricing):
The source said the comment by Jobs was likely aimed at provoking a reaction from the music industry, which is generally in favor of variable pricing, i.e., higher prices for hot, current artists and lower ones for less popular or older material.
"Music is art; it's not a commodity," the source said. "Things that are more relevant command more money. The idea of saying it should all be 99 cents is absurd. Variable pricing is the norm in the music business and every business -- even the iPod business."

Variable pricing is the norm in the music business? It is? Maybe for concert prices, but I have never thought that CDs were priced that differently based on popularity. That's changed a little over time with new CD's being more than back catalog, but event here the difference seems minor; the location you buy the disc at can have as much effect on the price as anything.

I'm sorry; in my mind I have always thought that CDs cost around $11-$15, but it depended on where you bought them, not that the U2 album cost more than the new Ah-ha album because U2 is more popular.

Am I missing something? Have things changed in the last couple of years and I didn't notice?

1 comment:

Adrian said...

I think $1 per song is a fair price. Most CDs (or "albums" if you will, to coin an ancient term) have around 12 songs (which goes back to the days when, on average, you could fit six songs on each side of an LP). $12 for a CD is a fair price. When I go into places like FYE or Tower Records and see a CD priced at $17.98, it really pisses me off.