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.

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  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.

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