“If Apple boss Steve Jobs has his way, 99 cent downloads are here to stay. The CEO lashed out at ‘greedy’ record companies on Tuesday during a speech at an Apple Expo in Paris, saying that their demands for a price increase for iTunes downloads is a money grab that could encourage piracy. The labels snapped back Wednesday (September 21), accusing Jobs of a double standard,” MTV reports.
MTV reports, “Jobs said that labels are already making a higher profit on song sales through iTunes than on CDs by eliminating or decreasing the costs of manufacturing and marketing the music. ‘So if they want to raise the prices, it just means they’re getting a little greedy,’ Jobs said. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one label executive said Jobs’ desire to keep pricing at 99 cents had a very simple explanation: ‘It helps him sell iPods. When he started iTunes, he broke through that psychological barrier that consumers had and made a lot of dough doing it, but it seems like he has a monopoly and he’s become the Wal-Mart of the Internet, and he wants to retain that monopoly.'”
“The source said the comment by Jobs was likely aimed at provoking a reaction from the music industry, which is generally in favor of variable pricing, i.e., higher prices for hot, current artists and lower ones for less popular or older material,” MTV reports. “‘Music is art; it’s not a commodity,’ the source said. ‘Things that are more relevant command more money. The idea of saying it should all be 99 cents is absurd. Variable pricing is the norm in the music business and every business — even the iPod business.’ An Apple spokesperson had not returned calls for comment at press time, but another high-ranking label source said the desire for variable pricing is not about greed, but about Jobs’ lack of desire to “add something more complex to the system. Any retailer should be able to lower or raise prices if they want to,” the source said, adding that there is a ‘little bit’ of money to be made selling songs for 99 cents.”
Full article here.
This could get ugly. Who will win this Deathmatch, Steve Jobs or the music labels? With which do you think the public will side: 99-cent iTunes or higher prices?
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