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Universal, Warner push \"multitier\" music pricing

updated 12:20 pm EST, Wed November 2, 2005

Multitier music pricing?

In addition to downloaded tracks, U.S. consumers this year through mid-October, out of 436.1 million albums sold, says White Plains, New York-based Nielsen SoundScan. "It's a blip, not a trend," Paul Burger, 50, president of London music-management agency Soho Artists and the former head of Sony Music in Europe, says of the leveling off of U.S. downloads. That belief has music companies, led by Warner Music, fighting to boost the 99-cent retail price on their most popular songs downloaded on Apple's iTunes Music Store. "The market ought to be able to decide, not a single retailer,'' Warner Music's Bronfman, 50, said in September at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in New York. Days earlier, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, 50, said at a Paris news conference that music companies were being "greedy" by seeking more for downloaded tracks, adding that it would only encourage piracy. "There will be variable pricing, multitier pricing," Universal Music CEO Doug Morris, 66, said Oct. 6 at a meeting of financial analysts in London. "The issue is going to be when and who blinks first."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. g4zilla

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Don't open the door

    If it happens, and I really hope it doesn't, pricing will only go up, for everything. "Multitier" is tradespeak for "charging whatever we damn well please".

  1. henryblackman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What?

    They find downloads levelling off, and they want to increase prices? Hello? Basic economics, lower prices, and they might see downloads increasing again.

    I do believe Steve Jobs is right when he says they are getting greedy. Every time that companies switch to a new format, the prices increases (out of line with inflation), DESPITE the fact the new format is actually cheaper to provide. CDs are MUCH cheaper to produce than cassettes ever were, but we were forced to pay more?

    Frankly, people download because the companies, be they record, movie, or TV, don't give us what we want. I'd be happy to pay for Lost in the UK, but since I can't, I might be forced to download it. I'd be happy to pay for quite a few TV shows, but I can't, so I might be forced to download them. These companies, ABC/Disney not withstanding, don't offer us what we want, and then they rant because we "steal" them. At least the BBC have a clue. Thank God I'm British.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    they won't win

    Jobs gets what Jobs wants. What Jobs wants just so happens to be in the public's interest, not the labels.

  1. OperaMan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This is good news

    What they don't know is Jobs is a robot, hence no blinking. Get your visine ready fatties.

  1. typoon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Damn record Companies.

    I doubt Apple will blink first unless they pull their catalog from iTMS. Damn greedy record labels. Do this and watch music piracy skyrocket again. It's ashame that only the artists will be the ones really hurt by this if it does happen since people will be pirating music again. GRRRRRRRR

  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mr. Bronfman & Mr. Morris

    Why don't you start you own online stores and charge whatever the heck you want?

    If I was a big artist like Sting, I'd negotiate separate contracts with the retail CD guys and the online guys like iTunes. And ultimately, that's what the record labels are afraid of...that online sales will make them obsolete...

  1. purpleshorts

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Save them, Steve!

    Steve has got to save these buffoons from themselves. Keep the simplicity and consistency that have made iTunes into the reliable, trusted friend it is.

    iTunes is not without flaws. There IS competition - higher priced CD's with no DRM, and lower priced (okay, free) Acquisition/P2P songs with great selection and no DRM, but with ethical qualms.

    But this set of compromises (Selection, DRM, Quality, Price, Portability) is a very successful one, and the record industry people should not monkey with success. They make most of the money iTunes generates.

    What's the problem? They look over and see a successful technology that Steve & Co. built, and want a piece of it. Do movie studios get money from VCR sales? It makes no sense. Greed, plain and simple.

    Steve, stand your ground.

  1. kaisdaddy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The way you make more...

    ...money is by selling more music. Not by charging more for the same songs, which will diminish demand. These guys should be politicians, their math and basic understanding of economics is so bad!

  1. purpleshorts

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I know... Apple Records

    This could be the moment to start a record company that supports artists... If Warner pulls their catalog, I have this great name for a record company run by creatives that love music...

  1. rok

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    wtf?

    okay, downloading has tapered off from its huge "hey it's a new thing" peak, so let's raise prices on some tracks, and keep them the same for lesser demand tracks/albums in the "bargain bin" approach. wondeful idea, guys. you'll push them straight back to sharing them on p2p.

    and you're all "let the market decide," well, are you any more a representative of the market than steve/apple? i mean, you did agree to this pricing structure, but now that you can see a lot more money can be made, you're deciding to change horses midstream (or at least saddles).

    what they are terrified of is this... those people who have bought from the iTMS now OWN their music. the music companies have NO leverage with the consuming public. if everyone was renting their music, the record companies could raise prices, and hold people's accounts essentailly for ransom, saying "either pay up, or we'll turn off your account and then you'll have NO music."

    cute, huh?

    so savor your purchased, OWNED, BURNABLE music for as long as you can, because the record companies are losing control of the market, NOT to apple, but to the consumers.

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