I coulda told you this, though I am a little surprised that we've seen the results so fast. Despite iTunes having put the new tiered pricing into effect just last week, Billboard is reporting that they've already seen sales drop on the higher-priced tunes. The iTunes Top 100 chart has 40 different songs with a new price of $1.29, and one day after the changes, those songs dropped an average of 5.3 places on the chart, while cheaper songs moved up on average. And on the second day of the price change, ten of the tracks that saw their prices rise within 24 hours dropped a huge 12.4 chart positions on average.
Of course, we're talking only a matter of days here, and there are all kinds of things that could have affected this average drop -- lots of the tracks that became expensive were from a Rascal Flatts album, and it could be just that the album has lost popularity, bringing the average down. And don't forget that even though these sales figures may be dropping, they haven't dropped nearly enough to show a loss of revenue (though fewer songs may be selling, they're still making more money).
But for those convinced that higher prices mean lower sales numbers, these first few days of figures will seem to connect all of the right dots. We'll have to wait and see if the long-term effects match up to the figures Billboard has seen so far.