updated 03:40 pm EDT, Thu March 26, 2009
iTunes cost hike on Apr. 7
Apple's plans to enact variable music pricing at the iTunes Store will take effect April 7th, says the LA Times. Although Apple has yet to publicly announce a firm date, the information is said to be circulating in the music industry, as a result of Apple telling record labels in preparation. Many mainstream hits, including both new and old songs, will be raised in price from 99 cents to $1.29.
As previously announced, a number of older tracks should simultaneously be reduced in cost to 69 cents, in a bid to encourage back-catalog sales. The changes are generally acknowledged to be a result of pressure from major labels, which have been unhappy with digital sales as CD-based distribution continues to decline. Apple's concession may have allowed the simultaneous removal of DRM, which was initially put in place to appease concerns over piracy; the technology is now increasingly rare though, missing from prominent sites such as Amazon and eMusic.