The New York Post is reporting that Apple CEO Steve Job may be able to keep song prices at the company’s iTunes Music Store at a uniform $.99 per track, rather than enable the record labels to introduce variable pricing.
In recent months, major music distributors have been chaffing at Apple’s uniform pricing model, saying they would prefer to charge higher prices for current tracks by chart-leading artists in order to maximize profits, while offering discounts on portions of their back catalogs to spur sales. Jobs had previously characterized variable track pricing as “greedy,” and has repeatedly asserted iTunes’ consistent pricing is a vital part of its appeal to consumers.
Apple’s stance has surprised some analysts, who note that the lion’s share of each $.99 sale goes back to the record labels as it is, leaving Apple with very little to show for its efforts. (Although how little is a matter of some debate: Apple says its music business