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Record Labels Push for iTunes Price Hike

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the cash-cow dept.

Music 971

csteinle writes "Looks like the major labels are getting their own way again. The New York Post reports that the price per track may be going up to $1.25, while the per album price for some albums could go as high as $16.99. The Register has its own take on this, too. Aren't you glad you starting paying for downloaded music?" Update: 05/07 19:15 GMT by M : Apple says their prices won't increase.

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Please... kill me now (5, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085606)

Ok... I understand why the RIAA wants to make more money off each track. There are only two or three good tracks on each CD. But to jack some prices up over what most new CDs are sold for in stores? How does that make any sense at all?

It's so fucking stupid that I want to rip my nuts off, cook them, and then eat them. Note to RIAA: YOU ARE A BUNCH OF FUCKING IDIOTS. God... I just can't stand it. They're begging for us to pay for music. Some people do. Now they want more money from those people while giving them less than they would by buying the CD in the store.

Re:Please... kill me now (5, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085656)

In response to myself:

From the register
At the 99-cent price, only about 10 cents from each song sale goes to Apple's bottom line, with about 70 cents going to the record labels and the other 20 cents paying for credit-card fees and distribution costs, sources say.


they're making a $0.70 profit on each song sold and doing absolutely no work to get it! kill me now! Armageddon has come! Jesus fuck this drives me insane. So now they need $0.95 per song?

Re:Please... kill me now (4, Insightful)

phats garage (760661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085800)

It does suck. As everybody has pointed out already, this price is for any song irregardless if its new or old, and the old songs have like zero costs to them, they've made their promotion costs, theres no media costs, this is simple pricing in reaction to rising demand. Apple should in reality get bigger cuts of the pie for older stuff, they're the one taking the risk of the online music venture.

Pricing for new music should be high, older stuff could be much lower. If older stuff would be priced less (in any format), I'd buy a ton of music, but right now I don't bother.

Re:Please... kill me now (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085834)

On top of that, they're just starting to get these online music stores off the ground. Right now it's a toss-up whether they'll end up being a success or not, and doing price increases this early in the process won't help the stores' chances at survival.

Re:Please... kill me now (3, Insightful)

dewke (44893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085691)

Since when has anything that the RIAA done made any sense? Now that the prices are going up, there will be a drop in online sales, and the RIAA can blame itunes for lower album sales.

Either that, or they want to push apple out of the business so they can establish their own stranglehold on music.

Re:Please... kill me now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085784)

Either that, or they want to push apple out of the business so they can establish their own stranglehold on music.

Oh my... you're brilliant. Seriously, that's absolutely correct.

I know! (5, Insightful)

Simon Carr (1788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085816)

And it's not just dumb because they're making the price higher, but they're making the EASILY COPYABLE audio CD format competetive again!

I mean what the crap? On one hand they're trying to secure their intellectual property, and on the other they're deterring people from a format that secures their intellectual property with out-of-whack pricing?

Dumbasses! This is a strategic blunder, how do they not see it? In a weird turn of the tables, I'm mad about it because they're so obviously proliferating a problem they're trying to solve.

I should be happy, because it means the long life of easily "shareable" audio CDs, but somehow I'm not..

Re:Please... kill me now (4, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085829)

The industry execs truly need to be slammed in the head repeatedly with a clue-by-four. They haven't just shot themselves in the foot, they've dived onto a landmine.

Let's face it, the RIAA member companies are approaching if not already at redundancy. They are the ones depriving artists of their fair share of what they created, they are little more than middlemen. If they got out of the way artists could make more money while selling their music considerably cheaper than it is now.

Somehow their massive FUD campaigns have convinced people that the RIAA is the artist, and that the labels should be compensated for "their" creations. I'm not saying that the true creators shouldn't be compensated, but the RIAA member labels sure as hell aren't the creators of the music, it's the artists who do that.

They should be breathing a sigh of relief that artists still want them, they should be thanking $diety that the public still have few other choices than to pay them for music and they should be grateful that people still think it acceptable to pay them for other people's creations. Finally a reasonable compromise with not-too-bad (although not too good either) DRM is implimented and becomes popular. The RIAA tries to destroy it rather than embracing what could be their last chance - if the RIAA take on Apple, they may win. If the RIAA take on online music, the artists will soon learn to bypass them and get a better deal.

Re:rip my nuts off, cook them, and then eat them (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085835)

Remind me never to come to your house for dinner.

Re:Please... kill me now (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085839)

I though 99 cents was fair before. But $1.25? I know it's only a quarter, but fuck that.

At $1.25 per song, I can waste my time trying to find it for free somewhere else on the net. Check out Broadjam [] . They have all sorts of music from independent artists for free, and the stuff on their charts is damn good.

Fuck you RIAA. All you've done by raising prices is increased the rate of piracy. I hope it puts the labels out of business.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085854) : cheap site -- $5 for 500 MB downloaded.

featured on slashdot before []

Don't bow to the cartels, support FREE music! (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085607)

Apple's willingness to allow some singles to be priced higher than 99 cents indicates the company feels empowered by its current success in the download market and sees a chance to boost profits from the sales of digital music.

This does NOT mean anything of the sort. It means that if Apple wants to sell these songs on its online store it has to bow to the wishes of the music cartels. It's their music afterall.

You know, I have downloaded less than 10 songs since the height of the Napster/Kazaa days (2000/2001?) and the rest have been songs that are legally available for free. Why the hell are we bothering to support the cartel's music? You realize that they are going to keep pushing and pushing (with bait-and-switch if necessary) to keep online downloads out so that they can reign supreme in the sales of music.

Support only the artists that allow the free taping and distribution of their music! Do NOT let the cartels continue to dictate to you and your favorite artists how the music you love will be distributed and at what cost.

Oh, please (5, Interesting)

glpierce (731733) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085740)

"Support only the artists that allow the free taping and distribution of their music!"

Should how do I stop liking good music? It's not all crap in the industry, and the independents have a long way to go (even those with talent usually don't have decent production). Should I boycott Led Zeppelin now? I only buy used CDs, but since I actually like good music I can't just pretend that everything I own is "bad" because the execs are greedy.

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085819)

I don't care what YOU do. I gave a valid suggestion for what you SHOULD do.

Support these [] bands. They are the ones that allow you to freely distribute and listen to their music w/o fear of price hikes from the cartels.

Re:Don't bow to the cartels, support FREE music! (2, Interesting)

chatooya (718043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085773)

I agree that it's a great idea to download music that's been made freely available. But we shouldn't feel guilty about downloading major label music either. This is an industry that buys of radio stations, sue families into bankruptcy, and exploits musicians every day. If anything, people should feel guilty when they pay for anything from the major labels, because they're keeping a corrupt system alive, when it's way passed time to move to a decentralized model and a level playing field in the music business.

And, no, not paying doesn't mean we shouldn't download and shouldn't listen to this music. There's lots of major label artists that I like a lot, and I'm not going to boycott they're music, I'm just going to support them by going to concerts and buying merch instead. That's how to change the system.

Or independent music (2, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085809)

This is potentially great for independent artists -- offering downloads at $.99 or $.90 per song now will make you seem competetive. And all you have to do is make sure you don't suck (at least, less than stuff on the radio).

Sigh (4, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085614)

Every time I hear about record labels these days I'm forced to think about the indies, who create the best music and get paid the least. My only hope is that a site like will learn from the mistakes of and come up with a solution for indies to profit and truly compete against big labels with more even footing. Nobody likes a grudge match like I do. :-)

Bait and switch concepts always fail business, and it looks like Apple will have to cave to the pressure from groups like the RIAA (who happen to be in love with shady business practices). Drug dealers do the same thing; $0.99 for the first hit and then you get gouged when you're hooked! Maybe taco was right after all [] ?!?

Re:Sigh (5, Informative)

gclef (96311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085828)

You mean, like these [] guys?

Caveat emptor! (4, Interesting) (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085622)

With the service agreement that they have for the iTMS, it seems already they can change the rules for the DRM (number of burns per playlist, number of computers, kinds of applications that will be allowed depending on available quicktime APIs, etc.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they start charging you to "upgrade" the privileges you have for the music you've already bought.... perhaps even charging you just to continue your rental - even though it was never part of the original deal, it seems the contract allows them to change whatever they want at any time, and their copy protection, backed by law, gives them the tools to do it. Retroactive price hikes... now possible under the DMCA!

Re:Caveat emptor! (4, Informative)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085759)

"Retroactive price hikes... now possible under the DMCA!"

The DMCA may be a terrible, terrible thing, but it doesn't legalize *everything* a geek hates. Anything resembling a retroactive price hike would bring lawsuits and are not obviously legal under the DMCA.

Yes, it's horrendous, but no, it doesn't make things normally illegal, legal. It 'just' makes certain normally legal things illegal.


Re:Caveat emptor! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085765)

You're right, but I'm not so pessimistic. The last time Apple changed their terms, they got *better*. You can now share music on five computers instead of three, which is a very nice trade for a decrease in the number of times you can burn an identical CD.

So unless you *really* need to mass-produce CDs in batches of 10 instead of batches of 7, all's well.

Re:Caveat emptor! (1)

razjml (700558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085842)

Really, there's no way that scenario can happen. What are you picturing, that when you go into a freshly "upgraded" iTunes (like the 4.5 "upgrade" that blocked myTunes and sharing with previous versions) it'll ask you point blank to pay a few bucks more for your previously, already bought music, or it'll automatically wipe them? This would make people ANGRY. Very angry. Consumers don't like to be angry. And what if you're not online at the time and it can't connect to Apple's database? Will it wipe them anyways? Or will we have to open our iTunes every day in fear of a new price change, the tech savvy making sure to yank out the ethernet cable each time so that we can thwart their "upgraded pricing?" I dunno, it all sounds a little hysterical to me.

The Good News Is... (0)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085846)

The good news is that there will always be an iTunes DRM stripper program available. It may be thwarted by the latest version of iTunes, but it will catch up within days or weeks.

So we should always be able to "clean" our music that we've bought.

Uhm? (4, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085627)

as high as $16.99.

For that price I'd rather go and buy the album and rip it myself. At least then I can choose the format I want. If an Audio CD is marked with a label that it might not play on anything else than my stereo, I won't buy it either. If this means I can't buy music anymore, well, fine with me, I'll keep listening to the CD's I already have.

Re:Uhm? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085709)

Please remember that this is Slashdot. A typical CD price is less than $16.99 only if complaints are being made about the high cost of downloading, otherwise a typical CD, according to Slashbots, costs $20-30, because of the gouging evil RIAA members.

Re:Uhm? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085862)

Dunno, I bought a few audio CD's yesterday (without copy-protection and with CD-Audio logo, I checked before buying). The price varied between 14.69€ and 18.49€. From my currency you can see that I cannot be a iTunes Store anyways, but I would be if the service had been available in my country. It still is very expensive, but not as it used to be. CD's often were over 20€, not even a year ago. Also note that the CD's I bought were rather old (in the sense of "not recent releases") and I didn't bother checking what a Top-40 CD would cost.

Rip or Burn? (2, Interesting)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085789)

Exactly, what do the music labels think they are going to get out of this? How about killing the legal download market? $10.00 is in my opinion too high, because if I really like something, I'll buy the CD rather than a copy of lesser sound quality. Talk about extortion.

Hopefully, Apple will try to essentially become a label in the future, eliminating the trash that markets the likes of Britany. Friends of mine simply buy the CD, burn it in whatever way they choose, and sell it used. I'm going to start doing this, but I mentioned that I would also copy the CD cover with the receipt so that down the road when the likes of Valenti come a knockin' with the FBI, I have proof of my purchase.

Re:Uhm? (5, Interesting)

THotze (5028) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085864)

I think that's exactly what the music companies are hoping for. The argument that probably ''sold" the RIAA and its members on allowing companies like Apple to give legal downloads of music probably was that sales of the music companies' entire libraries would increase. This lies on the belief that there were some people that would pay for a song/an album, but currently didn't do so, probably for lack of convenience. As an example, I listen to a song on the radio that I like, and I think "hmm, I want it," but I'm not in/near a record store, so I just forget about it and don't buy anything, but if I could have just sat down and paid for it and downloaded it, I would've given the record company some money.

The problem is that it is currently cheaper to download music than to buy it in a store - $9.99 per album for most albums online, compared with what, say $15-$20+ for most albums in a store? So what happens is some people (although, at this point, probably not a lot) figure, 'ok, so I'll just buy it for $10 on iTMS, spend $0.30 on a CD-R, and burn the album.'

What's intereisting is that I'll bet that with retail mark up, the record companies don't see a helluva lot more money by selling albums in a bricks-and-mortar store. (I figure there's at least a 40% retail mark up, and a few pennies here and there for the physical media, including jewel case + transportation etc., compared with about $0.70 per song that the record companies currently get from iTMS). The record companies are betting that a FEW people will pay the SAME amont for online downloads as a actual purchase (those "hmm, this sounds good, I'll buy it now convenience purchasors), and the rest will go for a actual physical CD purchase.

I don't think this is for the moeny, however, I think its because the record companies inhearantly distrust digital music on the Internet, thinking its 'dangerous'. They have more control over bricks and mortar in a number of ways, the most significant of which is that, on iTMS, its just as easy for me to download songs from an indie band as from a big record label, but, good luck finding much independent music in MegaMonolithic Music Store.

Just my read on things.


partial albums (1)

amyhughes (569088) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085629)

Partial albums are another way of charging more. They don't offer the remaining tracks on a partial album at a discount if there are more than 10. A 14-track album that is missing a track will, for example, cost $13. And the missing track is generally a desirable one.

Amy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085634)

Despite the hype, Apple's still hardly selling any iTunes, and this ratio is really the thing to watch: [htttp] . iTunes Music Store is just a cover for Apple to sell the greatest major-record-label-circumvention device ever constructed. The record companies have got to be insane if they think they can survive the push onto the internet with higher prices. Now that every hip, album art fetishist has an iPod to fetishize instead, they don't care about owning a physical CD. And when you stop buying physical CDs, you usually don't start buying iTunes-- and don't give me some anecdotal evidence of people who do. The sense of scale is everything; billions of songs are fileshared every day and Apple didn't even sell 100 million iTunes in a year. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085704)

Try this []

bound to happen (2, Insightful)

alecks (473298) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085635)

This was inevitable i suppose. I'm sure people will still continue buying, and slashdot will continue bitch. Life goes on...

Extra money? (5, Insightful)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085640)

If i *knew* that money was going to the artists, i'd be okay with it. Since i know it's not, fuck 'em; i won't buy. Free streams are doing just fine for me.

Load gun -- shoot foot... (4, Insightful)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085643)

Fine -- they can have it their way. The $.99 model was working fairly well, and a decent number of people were actually entertaining the notion of paying for music. This development will prove, yet again, that greed is running this show -- not fairness.

Until there is a "fair" alternative, meaning it's accepted as fair to the majority of open-minded and reasonable people, we will continue to see a well-defined, concerted effort to make music available for free.

iTunes was a step forward, and this represents 3 steps backward. It's a slap in the face to those who were actually paying for what was available for free. Expect them to be punished severely, in the form of greatly increased P2P activity.

Re:Load gun -- shoot foot... (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085760)

it's called "bait and switch" and I was expecting it all along. They knew that they would suck you in with the idea of a song for less than a buck (and plenty of people posted here that they were willing to pay just that).

So now they want more money (because it's actually working) and they want to basically make it stupid for you to buy an album from iTunes because they are more expensive than the $12.99 you can pay at Walmart.

Ahh, the cartels... I won't repeat my suggestion for what everyone should do.

Bad? (2, Insightful)

seigel (94101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085644)

I thought there was a bad word to describe when a parent company forces a price that a retailer has to sell a product for....

Oh...wasn't that practice illegal as well?


Re:Bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085741)

I thought there was a bad word to describe when a parent company forces a price that a retailer has to sell a product for....

And we all know the RIAA (and its members) have never gotten in trouble for doing anything like that.

Hmm... my mails here... what's this? another $12.53 check from my friends at the RIAA!

yay early post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085652)

this is an early post. anyway yeah i dont see how theyll expext people to pay more for digital music than for cds theyre just nuts

Who's boss? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085664)

Time to threaten, noisily, a boycott?

Am all for Apple but the record labels need to know who's boss. Namely the customers.

Re:Who's boss? (1)

dicepackage (526497) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085776)

I'm all for a boycott. I have in fact been boycotting CDs ever since the RIAA sued Napster. There is no reason why I should have to put up with all of their crap.

Sony still 99 cents? (-1, Flamebait)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085665)

So will the Sony store still be selling music for 99 cents as reported by slashdot in this article: tm l?tid=126&tid=141&tid=188&tid=95

And if so, hopefully this will start a price war, and reduce the number of those crappy iPods. One can only wish! Or Sony will crank up the prices and prove that the RIAA is as crocked as the OPEC cartel..

Re:Sony still 99 cents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085788)

Sony owns Columbia don't they? I'm sure they could at least license their OWN music at 99 cents. I wonder how fair that is.

Shooting the golden goose (2, Interesting)

nonameisgood (633434) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085825)

If Sony will sell throught their own channel for $0.99, but requires Apple to go to $1.29, that sound like a FTC investigation waiting to happen.

The labels shoot themselves AGAIN! (4, Insightful)

gb506 (738638) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085667)

When are the record labels going to understand that their product isn't worth what they want to charge?

It's like the NBA - a big marketing scheme where the underlying product does not have the appeal nor the value their pushers would like us to assign...

Re:The labels shoot themselves AGAIN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085790)

NBA??? Nahh MLB and NFL are the ones you were looking for. Build us a new stadium or else!!! Look at how well that's worked out for the MilDoggee Boozers. Shiny new stadium to raise revenues to allow them to buy better players to stop having losing seasons!!! (Oh wait that is what was "advertised" and has no similarity to the reality: new stadium, ticket sales dropping, still a bunch of losers --- tax payers left holding the stinky bag of dog doo.) (5, Informative)

datan (659165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085669)

This was featured on slashdot a few weeks ago.

It's a pretty cheap service, but some doubts were brought up whether Americans could legally use the service.

It charges 1 cent per MB of downloading, and it works out to about 5-8 cents per song. You can choose your encoding (mp3, ogg etc.) and bitrate. []

Three Words (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085677)

Fuck that shit

Opens the door for WalMart (2, Insightful)

SollyCholly (777496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085680)

The good 'ole Walton family stands to make a pretty petty (and a good bit of market share) if they can use their clout to keep the prices at their music service at $.99

Sorry Charlie........

Re:Opens the door for WalMart (1)

glam0006 (471393) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085830)

Or $.88 [] ...

Remember when stamps went from .15 to .19? (4, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085683)

It was always a boggle as to why the Post Office didn't just go right up to 20 cents a stamp instead of the weird 19 cents. It would have increased revenues and forestalled, at a very small price to the consumer, the next price hike to 22 cents (22???).

Same thing here. Instead of going up to a nice round number like 1.50, they choose a number right smack dab in the middle. While the price may be temporarily lower now, we can expect that the next price increase will happen faster than if they just brought the cost up to a nice round number.

Something tells me that the marketing department is at work here. Nothing else could be so evil.

A quick succinct comment (-1, Redundant)

rixstep (611236) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085684)

A quick succinct comment:

Recording companies are the most crooked lowlifes in the world.

Steve's take (4, Informative)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085688)

I'd recommend reading the Register's take on the story rather than the Post's: it has more facts right and doesn't have a flashing Howard Stern advert. Anyway, Steve Jobs also mentioned the issue in a recent iTunes conference call- here's what he said (credit goes to

"But in any event, most of the albums on iTunes are priced at $9.99 and below and, no, they're not creeping up. There's always a few that are a little higher than you can go in and pull out, but they're very, very competitive and we see in the future the prices of the albums coming down, not going up, because that's what it's going to take to sell more albums and it's in everybody's best interest to do so."

So, it's definitely a label vs apple thing. Anyone know who would get the extra money from the price hike, and in what proportions?

p.s. The journalism in the Washington Post is just "great". I quote,
"Apple's willingness to allow some singles to be priced higher than 99 cents indicates the company feels empowered by its current success in the download market and sees a chance to boost profits from the sales of digital music."

Where'd they get this information, you may ask? Did they perhaps pull it out of thin air? Immediately preceeding this, "Spokespersons for the major record companies declined to comment. A spokesperson for iTunes was not available for comment."


Re:Steve's take (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085752)

A source within apple told them. It's called not ratting out your sources.

So greedy (2, Interesting)

thebra (707939) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085692)

"The Wall Street Journal carries a story today on the higher prices customers are starting to face from online music stores. [] Apple, for example, is charging $17 for N.E.R.D.'s new 12-track Fly or Die album, while Napster charges $14--both higher than the $13.50 Amazon is selling the physical CD for. All five major record labels are also reportedly discussing ways to raise the price of single downloads, from increasing the price anywhere from $1.25 to $2.50, to bundling hot singles with less desirable tracks or charging more for singles of tracks that have not yet been released in stores."

From what I've read Apple only gets 10 cents from each track sold and RIAA get 70 cents.

Same price, 1/4 the fidelity! (1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085693)

Someone remind me again why I'd pay exactly the same price for a lower quality MP3/AAC/Whatever when I could go to the store, buy the disc, rip my OWN MP3s with no DRM BS, *AND* have the full-quality .cda tracks?

Just as this starts to take off, seems like the RIAA is content to kill it again. Brilliant.

Removes all doubt that the RIAA is dumb. (3, Interesting)

Maul (83993) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085696)

Apple created a service where people that people would be happy to pay for because it finally offered music at a decent price.

So what does the RIAA do? They try to kill it by forcing Apple to increase the price until it is as expensive as a CD.

Basically destroys the whole purpose of the service, doesn't it?

Major label dinosaurs (1)

mjolnir_ (115649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085697)

Again, only reacting and attempting to stuff the genie back into the bottle. I don't download illegal music -- but I sure as hell do rip CDs that don't belong to me.

If the labels want to survive, they have to recognize the new reality of music consumption and distribution. Consumers will embrace the most efficient systems that provide what they want, and right now iTMS and its competitors are the best solution.

Oh, and support local artists -- go see them live.


Apple's Music Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085700)

Why are there even music companies involved at all?

I understand there are older titles, but shouldn't artists negotiate terms with Apple directly?

Am I missing something or has the "record label" gone the way of the record and the label?

Competition, plain and simple (2, Insightful)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085702)

As more people realize that iTunes is a viable option to the $18 cd, it will push the RIAA and its demon member companies to lower it's prices.

Now if they raise the price, the RIAA can hold onto its CD monopoly for a little while longer.

Fuck buying music. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085703)

Fuck it. Whatever. I'll support my favorite artists by seeing them live.

Shitty, but makes some sense (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085713)

While my initial assumption is that Apple is probably happy to make a tiny profit on the iTMS in order to drive sales of its cash cow iPod, my guess is that a price hike might have been on their sales roadmap.

Sorry to use a cliche, but...

1. Offer songs for $.99 to get people hooked on buying online
2. Increase price of song by $.26
3. Wait until people get used to that, then increase price of song to $2.00
4. Profit!

My gut tells me that this is not going to happen, as Apple has plenty of money in the bank to run the store at its current price point. Speaking as someone who works in an establishment that has priced itself out of interest for almost all of our local demographic, I sure hope that if they raise the prices, they know what they're doing.


Re:Shitty, but makes some sense (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085747)

I sure am glad I didn't use my official /. account; that was some of the shittiest grammar I have ever produced.


Possibility of something good.. (1)

david_reese (460043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085717)

If Apple caves (as I assume it will have to), then perhaps they will keep the $.99 pricing for at least the indie artists, which would create a pricing difference to show off some "value" artists, etc.

However, I doubt that's the case, as I think in general Apple wants to try to keep a "standard" price across the board.

Aren't you glad you starting paying for downloaded (1)

What'sInAName (115383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085718)

"Aren't you glad you starting paying for downloaded music?"

Why yes [] I am!

Have been buying, but will quit if price increases (1)

XavierItzmann (687234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085722)

I have been buying and have pretty much substituted physical CD purchases for iTunes Music Store purchases.

Watch me *stop* any and all purchases if prices do increase.

Leave it to RIAA (4, Interesting)

andyring (100627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085725)

Leave it to these bloodsucking bastards to take a shotgun to the latest non-RIAA success story in the music industry. Here we finally have a successful, and wildly so, online music purchasing and distribution system, 100 percent legal, and RIAA HATES it, and seems to be doing everything they can to stomp it out. Download a CD for $17? Holy friggin' crap! I can buy the (nearly) worthless piece of plastic at Best Buy for the same price! Are they just doing it for an excuse to ass rape us at the music store too? Sure as heck wouldn't surprise me.

On a somewhat related side note, I am running for Congress in Nebraska. Conservative? Yes, I am. But, pro-technology, anti-RIAA/MPAA/DMCA? Darn right! Want real change? Vote Ringsmuth for Congress [] May 11 in Nebraska. That is the only way things will happen. If elected, I will do everything in my power to bring down these cartels.

why assume it was the RIAA? (2, Insightful)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085727)

The article seems to imply that the record labels were the ones who were asking for the higher prices, but it doesn't offer any particular evidence for that inference. In fact, the whole article seems very short on evidence, even in the form of quotes from their unnamed sources.

I suspect that the reporters found out that the price is going up, but have no real clue what happened in the negotiations.

Isn't it possible that Apple wanted to increase their profit margins just as much as the record labels did?

Big name retailers win, consumers lose again! (2, Insightful)

themaddone (180841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085731)

So now, as retailers drive up the price, it's now going to be cheaper to by your non-DRM CD from Target or Wal*Mart or wherever than to get a DRM restricted album from iTunes et al? I'm sorry, I don't get it.

Cheaper promotion + Cheaper distribution + Cheaper Capital costs is supposed to equal Lower Prices (tm).

In order for online distribution to succeed, there has to be some sort of critical mass of consumers -- without them, the business won't be profitable, and it's locked in a death spiral of having to raise prices and losing more customers.

At some point, the music industry just might have to accept that its no longer profitable to run business in this way. Music has been around a lot longer than the recording industry, and will be around a lot longer than when the industry disappears. The sooner they get that lesson through their heads, the sooner we can stop having the exact same discussions on /. all the time.

So let me get this straight (3, Informative)

christurkel (520220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085732)

The download biz is finally taking off after eyars of trying and you want to raise prices? This strikes me as profoundly stupid but then again the RIAA isn't exactly a brain trust.

Justification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085733)

How do they justify this? This method (online) of distribution is cheaper than normal methods. Distributing music online removes the necessity of pressing the CDs which although cheap, must add up.

How do they justify a rate hike that in some cases make online albums more expensive than normal albums?

How do they justify that the quality of music downloaded from iTunes is not as high as that ripped from a CD? We would be paying more money for less quality. (iTunes is selling songs at 128kbps, correct?) If they started selling them in Apple's lossless format - well that would be a step in the right direction.

I have a feeling they aren't even footing the bill on the bandwidth. I bet Apple is paying for all the hosting and bandwidth. Does anyone know for sure?

Try some of the more open/competititive ones! (5, Informative)

linuxbaby (124641) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085738)

Worry not. There are many many MANY more to come that are being very competitive AND open. CD Baby is delivering over 250,000 songs to EACH of the companies below, and the norm for the smaller companies is to receive MP3 or even FLAC delivery.

So instead of whining about how some big major-label Universal album (where the artist hardly gets paid anyway) is DRM'd or expensive, be an independent thinker and go try some of the smaller services.

Emusic []
Website for Mac, Windows, Linux where members can download up to 40 tracks per month of high-quality MP3 files. Has been around for YEARS doing both 99-cent downloads, and all-you-can-eat downloads for paid members. Has great catalog of indie label music - company is currently reforming.
AudioLunchbox []
One of the first all-independent music download sites. Tracks retail for 99 and albums retail for $9.99. ALB pays out 59 per song and $5.90 per album.
NetMusic []
Digital download and streaming service. We get 65 cents per downloaded song. Entire-album downloads usually retail at $9.99. []
Website that primarily targets Latin America, USA and Spain. Tracks sell for 99 cents. We get 65 cents. Entire-album downloads are usually $9.99.
Etherstream []
Website that offers a la carte downloads. Tracks sell for 99 cents. We get 65 cents. Entire-album downloads are usually $9.99.
Music4Cents []
Retails independent music at very reasonable prices. Pays 55 cents per download. Sells independent music - they will sell CD Baby songs at $.69.
QTRnote []
Artist gets about $.64.
TriaSite []
TriaSite retails independent music downloads. Pays $.65 per download
Puretracks []
Canada-only service that offers $.99 downloads. Website is currently available to Candian residents only. Puretracks is acting both as an online download retailer and a back-end service provider for other retailers. Downloads cost $.99 per track - artist gets about $.59 per track.
CatchMusic []
Download site focusing on independent music. CatchMusic sells a la carte downloads at $1 each. Songs retail at $1 - artist gets about $.55 per song.
Viztas Digital Marketplace []
Viztas Digital Marketplace will sell all kinds of digital media - not just music. Tracks retail for 99 and albums retail for $9.99. Vistaz pays out 60 per song and $6.10 per album. Viztas has not yet launched.
DiscLogic []
A la carte downloads. Tracks sell for 99 cents. We get 65 cents. Entire-album downloads are usually $9.99.

Re:Try some of the more open/competititive ones! (1)

BugArt (775827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085867)

Yep, and don't forget WalMart. Last time I checked, they were still the cheapest!

Dumbass statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085750)

Aren't you glad you starting paying ...

What the hell does this mean? Prices fluctuate all the time. Supply and Demand and all that. Is this statment supposed to be some sort of justification for stealing?

Re:Dumbass statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085797)

poor grammar actually.

pretty simple (1, Insightful)

discogravy (455376) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085751)

it's the golden rule: he who has the gold, makes the rules. (1)

Maddog2030 (218392) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085755)

They can get iTunes to do whatever, I'm sick of dealing with them and I won't do it anymore.

So what can I do? Well, I could pirate, or I could not use iTunes and use instead. Quite simply, it's better than iTunes. Now the interface might not be as nice, but what other music store let's you select any codec you want at the bitrate you want? Or why don't you just download the CD without using a lossless compression and use FLAC instead? You can have them encode it pretty much any way you want.

Even if they didn't have that feature, the price alone is worth it. I've downloaded albums at 85 cents (192kbs vbr MP3s). It's only $5 for 500MB of download.

The best part? It's all completely legal (endorsed by the Russian government and Russian equivalent of the RIAA).

Alright (1)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085756)

How will this impact iTunes sales? the 99c song pricepoint was PERFECT, people seeing that $$$ by $1.26 = D: face ... for an mp3 they could download from the local USENET server..

but at 99c, it's like.. "Hey, I don't have to go to the trouble of finding it for under a buck" doesn't work too well after, i am thinking

Costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085761)

Cost of uploading new content to music stores is going up all the time - 25% just this year!

Why not club a baby seal while you're at it... (1)

carlmacd (773459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085762)

I mean, killing legal online music distribution would be that easy. You find a pricepoint people like (such at . 99 a track), then get people used to it. Then, the second the service starts to take off, you jack it up.

You don't even need to jack it up much. That quarter will do. You then manage to instantly alienate customers like me, who had finally come out of the illegal p2p services to pay for music because they realized it wasn't that bad.

And the thing to remember is that if you piss off customers like me, who were just getting used to the model in the first place, we are hard to get back. Don't expect us to come running back just because you lower it back down to .99 again.'ll have to go much lower; we'll want blood.

And more than 15 bucks for albums? In a lossy compressed format with DRM? Yeah. Sure.

dumb (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085764)

The labels see the handwriting on the wall since no one wants to buy "filler crap" online.

I've been really pissed off at the recording industry - it came to a boil point when I had all of the albums enigma produced - so I was going to forgo the "Greatest Hits" cd.

To my rage they had a song on the greatist hits album that wasn't freaking released on any other cd.

I've never heard the song - nor will I purchase another cd for the low underhanded method of trying to get me to rebuy songs I already purchased for the new song.

the industry knows that the writing is on the wall - they are desperately trying to force the the old ways of raping the customers to make a profit on us.

Unfortunately - we're all going to suffer since Piracy will continue, and the legislation to "protect" the industry will likely force major changes on the way the web works.

lose lose.

$1.25 ain't gonna cut it . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085770)

Changing the price from $0.99 to $1.25 would be like when Arby's changed their "5 for $5 Time" Deal, to "5 for $5.55" Deal. . . . (which was terrible!) It just doesn't have the same ring to it.

(most) people won't spend thousands to fill ipod (1)

cheezus (95036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085780)

hmm... four thousand songs at $1.25? Not going to happen. People are just going to resort to piracy.

On the other hand, lots of people would shell out hundreds to load up the ipod...

The key to selling something that is nearly free to reproduce isn't margin, it's VOLUME. They could be generating a ton more revenue if lowered the prices.

The industry has been fighting the online revolution in music from the beginning. Perhaps this is just a way of killing off net distribution?

Filthy Canadians (2, Funny)

Silvrmane (773720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085782)

This affects me not in the littlest way because, as a filthy Canadian, I am not allowed to download anything from the iTunes store. We'll just have to keep getting our music the old fashioned way...

Yes, I am. (4, Interesting)

RatBastard (949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085785)

Aren't you glad you starting paying for downloaded music?

Yes I am, you smug little turd. I pay for my music, my videos, my software, my books, whathave you. I know that the artists involved are often getting ripped off by their record labels. But that doesn't mean I am going to screw them even furter.

kjh (2, Interesting)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085794)

Well, a price hike sucks. But stepping back to look at the big picture, I have to say that we are in the middle of a huge step in the right direction. As Apple continues its pursuit of Playfair, I'm sure everyone has noticed a subtle paradigm shift not just in the tone of people here on Slashdot but in the technical community at large.

When the MPAA sued 2600 for linking to some source code, a lot of technical people got very upset. How could source code be banned? It's free speech, isn't it? While many flavors of speech (from fire in a crowded theater to bomb-making instructions) have been illegal for years, this was the first time that dangerous technical speech was being regulated. And for many, this meant the onset of Chicken Little histrionics.

But the digital crowbar that spawned a million T-shirts [] only hurt the movie industry. Technical people were slow to empathize with the enrichment of Scientologists like Tom Cruise. And the "tyranny of the majority" was definitely hampering the effectiveness of the DMCA, halting the prosection of reverse engineers like Skylarov and spreading decryption software like DeCSS across the globe.

With the advent of PlayFair, however, the shoe is now on the other foot. Geeks are walking a mile in Rosen's shoes, and they are not happy. For the first time, the technical community has something to lose because an encryption scheme is under attack: iTunes may be going away, with geeks standing to lose everything from TMBG to Devo to Whitney Houston (all for 99c+ a song!) just because some software developer decided to piss in the public pool.

And the paradigm shift is now very evident. In place of Slashdot stories decrying the "MPAA witchhunt", we now have highly moderated comments in support of Apple [] for taking the fight to their attackers using the DMCA. And why not? After all it is much easier to understand the Israeli use of helicopter assassination after you've lived through your first bombing at a West Bank disco.

I think that this paradigm shift represents a crucial "turning of the majority" in favor of accepting the DMCA. Once groups like EFF get on board I think the final stone will be in place for Microsoft to release a cheap "convergence device" that will allow pay-per-use movies, games, music and all other digital media on trusted hardware all across the globe. And the consumer will benefit.

I mean, which of us wouldn't defend Lode Runner for 99c a game?

Thank God for Kazaa (1)

BugArt (775827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085801)

Well, we tried...wonder what WalMart will do? All I can say is "thank God for Kazaa!"

Logic dictates (1)

Luminous (192747) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085807)

At this point, a company would be struggling to lower the price to be the cheapest source of music downloads to attract the most users and to reap the benefit from volume.

Once again, we see how RIAA doesn't operate in terms of logic like any other business.

RIAA bathroom conversation.... (2, Funny)

mikepaktinat (609872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085817)

Exec 1: (flushes golden toilet) The number of people using illegal P2P has gone down since iTunes was opened.

Exec 2: We can still sue them right?

Exec 1: No, they paid for the music.

Exec 2: WHAT!?!!?!??! Not sue people!!! but how can we offend our customer while alienating them at the same time????

Exec 1: Raise Prices?

Exec 2: You are a genius, CD sales will skyrocket!! We can control what they listen to again!!!! Now if you excuse me I need to use the john

Exec 1: Its out of TP, use this (hand him stack of $100s)

I want this on a t-shirt... (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085818)

> At the 99-cent price, only about 10 cents from each song sale goes to Apple's bottom line, with about 70 cents going to the record labels and the other 20 cents paying for credit-card fees and distribution costs, sources say. ...and on bumper stickers, and billboards, and I want it plastered on the windows of every CD merchant in the middle of the night. Now that local newscasts are 90% non-news, let's get them to spend some time covering *THIS*. It's fluff about the entertainment world, but at least this time it's INFORMATIVE fluff instead of that monstrous circle-jerk of "news coverage" about the end of "Friends."

Anyone care to wager how much of that $.70 goes to the artists? Anyone? How about that price hike? Think royalties are going up for the people who actually do the work? Think again...

I'm tired of waiting for the RIAA to drown in the tarpit. We need to shove it deeper in and put a few bullets in its head while we're at it.

I Doubt Apple Wanted This to Happen (3, Insightful)

TechnoPope (516563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085823)

I get the feeling that Apple really didn't want this to happen. Raising the prices reduces the "deal" of downloading the album. As others have pointed out, why pay 16 bucks for an encrypted, DRM'd copy of an album that you have restricted rights to; when for 18 dollars you can have a CD that you can do what ever to. Steve Jobs and Co. probably only agreed to this out of fear of losing the rights to distribute music. While selling music online helps the RIAA, it does not do so enough for Apple to really leverage their position on the pricing. From the vantage point of Apple, they need the RIAA more than the RIAA needs them.

To fear Steve Jobs (1)

mj_1903 (570130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085824)

As The Register pointed out, and it could well be true, it seems the RIAA is started to fear Steve and his creation. The old men of the RIAA were held over the barrel once before by MTV and now when a new industry starts up that produces them pure profit through every sale, they decide to start restraining it and quite possibly destroying it.

On the flip-side of course we have Steve throwing his weight around with Pixar and Disney. This is almost exactly the same thing the RIAA are doing, albeit Steve and Pixar had a bad contract with the monolithic Disney.

I guess we can only hope the RIAA come to their collective senses and note that they cannot throw their weight around like this anymore, the indies will eventually prevail.

10 / song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085837)

I haven't bought anything because I thought 99 was too much! There actually was a couple of songs I would have bought but ultimately decided it wasn't worth the price! I can't believe the price went up instead of down! The RIAA are out of their minds!

Could be a move to push sony (3, Insightful)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085840)

Alright here's a conspiracy theory. Sony could be the reason behind the hike. New player enters a market dominated by apple and apple's price per song increases? I bet sony would remain at 99c and isn't sony a major music label? Also Ipods were the main target of apple not pusing songs so i guess they won't care much now.

Killing innovation (1)

SuperBigGulp (177180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085843)

Nothing kills innovation faster than making it expensive.

I'd love to be legal, really, but... (2, Interesting)

Exocet (3998) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085844)

Frankly if I'm going to have to pay as much (or more) than the new physical CD costs, well, f-it. I'll go buy the CD. I'll have the actual media then and also be able to rip it and distribute it to as many computers as I wish.

Either RIAA is absolutely blinded by greed (a distinct possibility) or they might just be blinded by their lust for power/control. Consider this: if people think like I do and don't want to pay as much for the restricted-ethereal-copy as they do for the free-as-a-bird physical media ...and RIAA secretly knows this... might they be simply trying to pressure Apple into raising their prices in order to have them eventually fail the iTunes business?

At that point the RIAA could point to iTunes and say, "Hey, people and Congress, the people don't want legal stuff! Let us make evil non redbook-standard CD's that are laden with DRM! Protect our braindead ancient way of doing business!"

I recently bought two (my first two) songs on iTunes and enjoyed the experience. But it's pushing it to ask me to spend 10-12 right now to get all the files that made up the original CD. If it goes up to $14-17, not a chance. I'll buy a used CD or I'll get it from Gnutella or I'll just listen to the damn radio. $.99/song is the LIMIT, not the start. Otherwise, I want the physical media and the dead tree art.

In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085847)

I'll be going back to Kazaa. I win again.

Ummm...Duh (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085853)

Of course these record labels want iTunes to charge $1.25 per song. They have their own [] online music stores; iTunes is the enemy, not the vanguard savior of online music distribution (according to the labels).

What is the point of buying the music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085855)

If the price of a downloaded album becomes comparable to a physical CD, there is no incentive for the consumer and every incentive for the label since their distribution costs have shrunk whilst profits increased.Won't that promote piracy? The actual costs of producing an album are becoming more transparent and the consumer will revolt.

20,30 years ago, artists like the Who, Stevie wonder, even Metallica produced actual albums (compliations of related songs) that people wanted to buy. Now there is one song and a lot of filler.

I'd rather spend 10.99 for a 2 sided 12" vinyl (yes vinyl) dance record than give that money to a major lalble

And the royalties? (1)

GuyinVA (707456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085858)

I wonder if this means that the record labels will have more royalties to keep since they can't locate/contact artists. 233&mode=thread&tid=141&tid=188&tid=98&tid=99>/.

Supporting Independent Music (3, Insightful)

lotsofno (733224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085860)

really, the best route for anyone wanting to listen to music is to stick to more independent material--there's enough good stuff out there to last you several lifetimes.

that way, when you buy a song from Magnatune, Bleep, or Audiolunchbox, you WON'T be:

1.) sending your cash to the RIAA
2.) attributing to the success of a service that fronts the RIAA, supporting the operation of tyrannous record labels with your cash
3.) supporting propietary DRM
4.) locking yourself into using iTunes or an iPod as your portable player

by opting for other services that aren't iTunes/Walmart/Sony/Rhapsody/etc.., you WILL be:

1.) sending more cash to the musicians you like
2.) attributing to the success of a service that better represents and compensates the musicians you like, without restricting how you listen to your music
3.) free to listen to your music however you want, whether it be with winamp or foobar, linux or whatever OS you use, ipod or rio karma
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