EMI chairman says Apple’s iTunes Music Store’s single 99-cent song price doesn’t deter piracy

“EMI Group PLC Chairman Eric Nicoli Tuesday rebuffed Apple Computer Inc.’s assertion that a single price for songs sold over the Internet helps prevent piracy in the music industry,” MarketWatch reports. ‘I’m not persuaded by the argument that a single price deters piracy,’ Nicoli said at a news conference. ‘I’m not persuaded of the fact that a lower price deters piracy. What I am persuaded of is that making music more convenient and better value is a deterrent to piracy.’ Nicoli was responding to comments from Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs who last month called music companies greedy for seeking higher prices for downloads and who argued that this would encourage piracy.”

Full article here.

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Liz Phair’s 5th studio album, “Somebody’s Miracle,” released October 4, 2005. Also includes bonus track, “Can’t Get Out of What I’m Into,” available exclusively on iTunes.
Try raising the price and let’s see how well that deters piracy.

Related articles:
Apple’s iTunes Music Store dominates as digital music sales more than triple – October 03, 2005
Dvorak: record companies’ biggest concern about Apple’s iTunes is clear and accountable bookkeeping – September 29, 2005
In 99-cent fight with ‘Looney iTunes’ labels, Apple CEO Jobs will get whatever Jobs wants – September 29, 2005
Warner music exec discusses decapitation strategy for Apple iTunes Music Store – September 28, 2005
Warner CEO Bronfman: Apple iTunes Music Store’s 99-cent-per-song model unfair – September 23, 2005
Analyst: Apple has upper hand in iTunes Music Store licensing negotiations with music labels – September 23, 2005
Steve Jobs plays high-stakes poker with greedy record labels – September 22, 2005
Record labels accuse Apple CEO Jobs of ‘double standard’ as they seek to force iTunes price increase – September 21, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs to repel ‘greedy’ record companies’ demands for higher iTunes prices – September 21, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs vows to stand firm in face of ‘greedy’ record companies – September 20, 2005
NYT’s Pogue to record companies: it’d be idiotic to mess with Apple iTunes Music Store prices – August 31, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs prepares for pivotal fight on digital music prices – August 28, 2005
BusinessWeek: Apple unlikely to launch music subscription service – August 15, 2005
Record labels to push Apple for higher iTunes Music Store prices in 2006? – August 05, 2005
Study shows Apple iTunes Music Store pay-per-download model preferred over subscription service – April 11, 2005
Record labels look to raise iTunes wholesale prices, music industry fears Apple’s market domination – March 05, 2005
Report: Apple CEO Steve Jobs ‘angered’ as music labels try to raise prices for downloads – February 28, 2005
Report: Music labels delay Euro iTunes Music Store fearing Apple domination – May 05, 2004
Greedy Big Five music labels looking to jack up iTunes songs to $2.49 each? – April 22, 2004


  1. MacDailyNews Take: Try raising the price and let’s see how well that deters piracy.


    ‘What I am persuaded of is that making music more convenient and better value is a deterrent to piracy.’ So this means…..? On the one hand, you slap Apple, on the other, you say it’s good? More convenient and a better value? I don’t get it?

    Are you suggesting subscriptions????

  2. To a degree he is right. Single pricing vs. multi-pricing doens’t deter piracy. If iTMS had tracks ranging from 99 cents down to say 69 cents piracy would not increase. Multiple pricing from 99cents up to whatever they want for current/popular tracks would either encourage piracy or in my case just deter me from purchasing. I’m used to a buck now, it will be hard to pay more.

  3. I would like to see the results of a study which would show just how much actual money the average music “artist” (these days) receive from the sales of CDs … as opposed to the money they receive from live performances and the sales of T-Shirts, buttons, et al..

    I bet todays artists are being gouged more by the record companies than they are by the iTMS…

    Wasn’t it the Greatful Dead who encouraged the “pirating” of their music ?? …. I doubt their record sales suffered much

    MDN MW “data” … (Wasnt he on Star Trek ?) ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Convenience and value deters pricing. Right on. Thing is, that given the convenience of iTMS, I find $0.99 to be the right value. Lower prices would really be a greater value, but higher prices? I don’t think I would be willing to pay $1.19 or $1.49 for a single. That’s too much. I would rather p2p it. Now for a video, lyrics, etc, perhaps…but then my value is increasing commiserate with the price now isn’t it?

    Plus, what Dumb-A doesn’t remember is that this is a new medium (still) and there should be some price consideration for the fact that if Apple stops making iPods, I can’t lossessly transfer my collection to another pocket media player.

    MDN word: attack

  5. Mr. Nicoli, please understand that there is a difference between “deter” and “prevent”. A padlock on my door might not prevent theft, but it probably does deter it. Or, as my father used to say, locks keep out the honest folks.

  6. That is one ridiculous stamement obviously made by someone who NEVER pays for music and probably doesn’t even care about music very much.

    iTunes has made music more convenient and digital music sales have tripled according to latest reports. It’s been said before, can’t be said enough, if they want variable pricing then have .99 as the ceiling and go down from there.

    Greed. Pure greed.

  7. Funny,

    Would you believe I read this article mere moments after downloading three songs. I was planning on using a P2P but instead thought it’s be easier and quicker to use iTunes and paid the $2.97.

    These record companies need to realize something before the Internet starts to kill them slowly again.

    “Sometimes it’s difficult to see the real world below when you sit up so high in an ivory tower.”

  8. “….I’m not persuaded of the fact that a lower price deters piracy. What I am persuaded of is that making music more convenient and better value is a deterrent to piracy….”

    which, IMHO, flies in the face of gobs of historic evidence from any economic sector that has spawned a black market….
    *currency, etc

    consumer piracy and wide-spread contefeiting is a black market developed market response to preceived low value/high prices in a tightly controlled market coupled with a technological change the industry didn’t respond to…

    the question for this guy is what “value add” could the industry possible give to the product that could justify higher prices and overcome the convenience of itunes or piracy and the lower prices?

    none that I can think of……

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