Report: music labels on verge of abandoning demand for variable pricing on Apple iTunes Music Store

“The record industry may be on the verge of waving the white flag in front of Apple boss Steve Jobs, and abandoning its demand for iTunes to charge different prices for different songs,” Tim Arango reports for The New York Post. “Negotiations between Apple and the four major music companies – with which iTunes deals all expire in the next two months – have reached a crucial point as several record executives now say they are unlikely to convince Jobs to allow variable pricing, sources said. This marks a change of tune for the record industry as late last year several executives said they believed variable pricing – something the music companies have been pushing for – was imminent.”

“But Jobs has dug in his heels on the issue, creating the potential for a showdown between the mercurial Apple boss and the record industry should the labels continue to push for variable pricing. Some executives even mentioned to The Post the possibility that some labels may end up pulling their music from the service, which is by far the most popular of the digital download services. While sources say this is a remote possibility, the fact that it is even mentioned indicates the talks have been anything but amicable,” Arango reports. “One high-level music industry executive, who believes the record industry will ultimately abandon its push for variable pricing, blamed the labels for not standing up to Jobs. ‘Where in life does the retailer set the price of the content?’ said this person.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The option of pulling music from iTunes Music Store came and went long ago. Steve Jobs has the power now and, if the past is any indication, he’ll wield it accordingly to “negotiate” a favorable outcome for Apple.

Advertisements:
Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.

Related articles:
Analyst: Apple in driver’s seat when it comes to renegotiating with music labels – March 31, 2006
U.S. DOJ looks into possible price collusion among music labels in music download business – March 11, 2006
U.S. DOJ opens probe into online music pricing at major labels – March 03, 2006
New York State antitrust probe of music labels could benefit Apple, keep 99-cents per song price tag – January 04, 2006
New York Attorney General Spitzer probes digital download wholesale pricing – December 23, 2005
Will Apple’s iTunes Music Store be forced to raise prices by greedy music labels? – November 17, 2005
EMI chief: Apple’s Steve Jobs may alter iTunes pricing model within the next 12 months [UPDATED] – November 16, 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

39 Comments

  1. money talks, its obvious this is what people want, the one thing i hope itunes never does though is subscription, nothing puts people off more than feeling forced into spending money. – that said an option for this on tv sshows is ok – but nothing else

  2. At the rate ITMS is selling their product, I doubt they’re too upset with Jobs. I’m sure at least a few of the marketing execs at the labels realize that consistent pricing is part of what brings customers to ITMS in the first place.

  3. Money that iTunes Music Store generates for the record companies is why Steve Jobs can get away with this. Do you think if iTMS sells were like napster he could do this, not a chance.

    Besides we should support Steve in this decision, why should we have to pay more for a song because this week it in the top 10 and next week someone get the same song cheeper because it fell out of the top 10.
    All songs same price no matter of age and popularity.

  4. Uhhh…ditch Apple to go where exactly? Napster? Rhapsody? Please. iTunes is the ONLY online music store that is making the record companies any money, and the only one consumers are purchasing from (80+% market share for online downloads).

    If they pull their music because iTunes wont allow variable pricing and it gets out to the public, the record companies will look like greedy asses, and they know it. People identify with iTunes, and if the music they are looking for is pulled because iTunes was trying to keep their music at 99 cents, who do you think they will be behind?

  5. “”Where in life does the retailer set the price of the content?””

    Walmart regularly dictates to its suppliers what the price of the products they buy from them will be. For a company to defy them is suicide. Walmart has put plenty of companies out of business and done massive harm by their dictatorial powers based on their sheer size.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.