Shock! Disbelief! Big Music Price Hike Makes Tunes Less Popular!
I bought a bunch of music on April 6th at $0.99 in advance of the April 7th variable price shift. (Unlike Amazon and Walmart, Apple pre-announced the new pricing back in January). Now much of the music I bought, including many old, no longer popular tracks, is listed at $1.29. Looking at those prices today, I admit they make me think twice about buying again. According to Billboard (based on Gizmodo), I'm not the only one feeling that way:
One day after the price jump, there were 40 $1.29 songs in the Top 100, and 60 at 99 cents. The $1.29 songs fell an average of 5.3 places, while 99 cent songs moved up 2.5 places on average. The total average chart drop of pricier songs since the prices went up is about three places.
Unfortunately, Big Music is still making more money total on less sales of higher priced tracks, so they may not care. Historically, they've shown zero foresight when it comes to pricing themselves to compete with "free" pirated music, which was the whole crux of Steve Jobs' iTunes pitch to begin with. See Rolling Stone from 2003:
We don't see how you convince people to stop being thieves, unless you can offer them a carrot — not just a stick. And the carrot is: We're gonna offer you a better experience ... and it's only gonna cost you a dollar a song.
Also still unexplained is where all that $0.69 music is that we were told would more than make up for the price hike on the higher end.
What do you think? Will you buy less music at $1.29 than you would have at the old $0.99 price point? Or is $1.29 a fair, modern market price for your favorite tracks?