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iTunes drops all DRM, adds variable pricing

Aron Trimble

In the never-ending battle of where to spend your George Washington's (the paper ones, that is) some battles are won and some battles are lost. In this case, however, it's turned into a bit of a draw. As we previously mentioned the day hath befallen on which iTunes now "features" a variable pricing structure. The three flavors available are $0.69US, $0.99US, and $1.29US with, according to Apple, "many more songs" available at the $0.69US price point.

The idea of a DRM-free iTunes is definitely a popular one that has been requested for years. The unfortunate side-effect, as imposed by the record labels, is that more popular songs are going to be charged a premium over the tried-and-true $0.99US price point. On the other side, however, is the $0.69US price point for songs that nobody wants are less popular. This is unfortunate because, as Victor mentioned, a single dollar is an easy impulse buy to swallow. I'll add to that the fact that it's easy to understand that 3 songs = 3 dollars; while a price of $1.29US is a little bit more challenging for those of us without calculators in our brains.

In my opinion, record labels are going to see a decrease in sales due to this decision. Many people have iTunes account balances and gift cards that are now going to get them less "tune for their buck." The result of that is consumers will buy less (they have less to spend) and they will be more meticulous in deciding what to purchase. DRM-free, iTunes Plus tracks are a novel idea, but the main benefit will be lost on many consumers. The only change they will notice is that the bill has gone up.

Via Macworld

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