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."