Apple drops DRM on iTunes, adds variable pricing

By on April 7, 2009, 10:40 AM
Apple today made good on its promise to remove all DRM from its entire music library on the iTunes Store. As part of the move, however, the company has also agreed with record labels to a variable pricing structure where tracks could cost up to 30 percent more depending on popularity. Some older catalog titles will drop to 69 cents per song, while others remain at 99 cents, and some classics and popular songs will jump to $1.29.

This is the first time since its launch in 2003 that iTunes has adopted a new pricing scheme, and while there is no clear way to determine which songs will be priced at what rate, Apple did say that more songs would go for 69 cents than $1.29. Nevertheless if you consume brand-new music you’ll likely pay more for it at iTunes than on Amazon, for example, which still sells the majority of its DRM-free songs for $0.99 apiece.

Apple commands roughly 87 percent of the market and controls an entire digital music ecosystem with its iPod family, but recent numbers have shown that Amazon is slowly gaining on them. Has the company just shot itself in the foot by making its store more expensive than the competition?

User Comments: 4

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cyrusjumpjet said:
Although I don't use these sorts of online services to purchase my music, this is fantastic news and I'm happy Apple was able to jump on the DRM-free bandwagon.
yukka said:
In the UK i have been buying my songs from Play.comThey are 320kbps MP3 at around 70p per song, less if you buy an album. Amazon is 79p for each song and its AAC.Apple would need to drop AAC and their pricing to get my regular custom - for now I just use it for the (very) occasional old archive track when I am too lazy to check the websites of the many alternatives now offering MP3 at low prices. What I do not understand is what advantage AAC offers me as a consumer?
windmill007 said:
Amazon is MP3 and most songs are 320K VBR ^^^^^^^Best value so far IMO
Eddie_42 said:
DRM, or your AAC are not for the consumer. They are for the producers and record labels. Unfortunately they cause more hassle then ease for the consumer, and that's the root of the problem.I am looking at buying an ipod with my tax return so this is great, i dont have to have the newest a most popular songs, so its nice to be able to get some under the $1 price tag. It adds up quick when building up a library.
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