Apple’s iTunes music service may still be clinging to the idea of uniform pricing for music tracks—although their stance has slipped somewhat, what with iTunes Plus charging higher prices being charges for DRM-free tracks from EMI, and the company now engaging in a game of chicken with Universal Music, with one of the points of contention being Universal’s desire to institute variable pricing for its artists.
Although pricing for complete albums on iTunes has never been fixed, the majority are tagged at $9.99 in the North American market, typically making purchase of album less expensive than purchasing individual tracks—and many including goodies like liner notes. Some albums carry higher pricetags, with larger sets approaching $15 and $20, and other albums occasionally dipping below the $9.99 benchmark.
Now, in an apparent effort to tap into record companies’ promotional efforts, iTunes has begun offering selected albums at prices of $6.99 and under. The artists range from new acts to established artists with new releases, and while only a handful of albums are available at the discount pricing, they span a respectable range of genres and styles. iTunes touts the artists as having what, in Apple’s opinion, might let them become the “next big thing;” some of the artists featured have been promoted via iTunes’ free track-of-the-week promotion.
The discounted pricing may be Apple’s way of offering record companies a way to promote new artists and releases with discounted pricing without (technically) budging from its uniform per-track price—the kind of concession which could give Apple a small bargaining chip with record labels when it comes time to renew contracts. Likewise, it may simply be a move to increase iTunes’ sales, and encourage listeners to delve into entire albums from artists they like, rather than cherry-picking a handful of tracks.
- Amazon’s Whole Foods raises hundreds of prices, from ice cream to soap
- SoundCloud hopes to add listeners with 50 percent discount for students
- Amazon drops prices on refurbished Apple Watches in this one-day sale
- Amazon drops prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Valentine’s Day
- These discounted wireless earbuds are a great Apple AirPods alternative