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MacRumors
May 1, 2006, 10:45 PM
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After months of negotiations (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/09/20050930092813.shtml), Apple announced (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12582164/) on Monday that they had renewed contracts with the four largest record companies to sell songs through iTunes for 99 cents each.

This represents a win for Apple as the record labels have been pushing for variable priced songs for some time now. In that model, newer songs would cost more than $.99 while older songs would cost less.

Steve Jobs has reportedly insisted on keeping pricing constant for all songs at $.99. With iTunes now with 80% of the U.S. digital music marketshare, "the labels need Apple too much right now", according to one record executive.

No comments were made in the article regarding the term of the contracts.

Platform
May 1, 2006, 10:47 PM
Good, this is the way it should be ;)

amateurmacfreak
May 1, 2006, 10:48 PM
Awesome. :D

Awesome. :D

Awesome. :D

New ads, this... Apple is making me happy. :D

dynamicd
May 1, 2006, 10:49 PM
Good to see newer songs won't cost more than .99 a piece. It seems like Apple's marketshare makes it possible for them to delegate whatever pricing scheme they deem fair.

technocoy
May 1, 2006, 10:49 PM
this is hilarious... steve wins again!!! I think it's so funny that everyone was saying they wouldn't renew and that if they did it would be with no contract....

maybe they like that apple green more than they let on.

shigzeo
May 1, 2006, 10:50 PM
somehow for once i thought i would read something first... and be able to comment on it... rather, i just follow suite and say, yeah steve!

Superdrive
May 1, 2006, 10:50 PM
Glad to see the right things work out here. Had prices gone up, I would have been forced to find music elsewhere.

Ja Di ksw
May 1, 2006, 10:51 PM
This is what a lot of us have been waiting to hear. Congrats to Apple! That could not have been an easy fight.

I wonder how long it is for . . . .

amateurmacfreak
May 1, 2006, 10:52 PM
Glad to see the right things work out here. Had prices gone up, I would have been forced to find music elsewhere.
Yeah.... kinda agreed. Kinda sorta. :o :p

Felldownthewell
May 1, 2006, 10:57 PM
whew. Now that that is out of the way we can all start complaining about how the songs aren't $0.50 each! :D

Surreal
May 1, 2006, 11:00 PM
whew. Now that that is out of the way we can all start complaining about how the songs aren't $0.50 each! :D

THAT may be the source of any negative votes.:rolleyes: :cool: :p

EricNau
May 1, 2006, 11:00 PM
Glad to hear that Apple won and got to keep the songs at $.99.

Superdrive
May 1, 2006, 11:23 PM
Yeah.... kinda agreed. Kinda sorta. :o :p

If prices went up I would be forced to get my music from other sources....CDs :p

Seriously, I'm glad to see the record companies did the right thing.

~Shard~
May 1, 2006, 11:28 PM
Great news - way to stick by your guns Apple and refuse to budge. I like it. :cool:

kasei
May 1, 2006, 11:30 PM
Damn...now I have to use self control to regulate my shopping on iTunes. On a serious note that is great....

Doctor Q
May 1, 2006, 11:38 PM
Actually, I want more complicated pricing. Namely, I want to be able to upgrade from a few tracks on an album to the entire album for the difference in price. That way, I can buy songs I already know and like and, when I find that the group's music has grown on me, I can "upgrade" to the album. I'd spend more if Apple allowed this. They don't have to make the interface look much different to do this. They can simply have the album prices change when you already purchased tracks from that album.

devilot
May 1, 2006, 11:44 PM
Actually, I want more complicated pricing. Namely, I want to be able to upgrade from a few tracks on an album to the entire album for the difference in price.Ooooooh. I so wish they would implement this!!! Have you written them yet? You should! :D
Especially because I'm too lazy to. :o

~Shard~
May 2, 2006, 12:00 AM
Actually, I want more complicated pricing. Namely, I want to be able to upgrade from a few tracks on an album to the entire album for the difference in price. That way, I can buy songs I already know and like and, when I find that the group's music has grown on me, I can "upgrade" to the album. I'd spend more if Apple allowed this. They don't have to make the interface look much different to do this. They can simply have the album prices change when you already purchased tracks from that album.

I really like this idea - you should work for Apple! :D ;)

Chef Medeski
May 2, 2006, 12:01 AM
HINT HINT!!!

This is great news not because of the stupid pricing thing. But because renewed deals. Apple had been trying to make deals with media companies over video content, which of course nearly all due music as well. I'm sure it not just an audio thing, but actually a full blow agreement over music and video. I'm almost assured of this. Just wait for a contract or agreement to pop up in the next couple weeks.

Hopefully they can now release the video ipod and reduce the price of my ipod.

twoodcc
May 2, 2006, 12:13 AM
great news. keep it up Apple :)

weitzner
May 2, 2006, 12:40 AM
yay! This really shows that Apple is becoming a force to be reconned with. Not even big evil record labels can push Apple around.:cool:

Lollypop
May 2, 2006, 12:50 AM
I think this is great!! 99c seems such a nice price even if its just a sweet marketing number. Now apple can expand the store to more countries and add more videos as well! :D

nagromme
May 2, 2006, 01:10 AM
Even if the agreements are short-term, it's better than labels bailing out, which some were afraid of.

Fixed single pricing = simplicity = one of iTunes big attractions.

(L)
May 2, 2006, 02:35 AM
Yay, they decided to keep the one-size fits all system. I think they'd actually lose money otherwise, but this probably feels good for consumers too.

joe8232
May 2, 2006, 03:45 AM
That is great news....for the US. Why do we in Britain still have to pay .79 which comes out at $1.44????

Multimedia
May 2, 2006, 04:28 AM
What a great negotiator - Do It My Way of The High Way. :p :D :eek: :cool:

And everybody blinked. :D

HiRez
May 2, 2006, 06:27 AM
I would gladly pay $1.09 per song if I could download them directly encoded at 192 kbps, and I'd buy a lot more songs than I do now if that were possible as well.

iSee
May 2, 2006, 08:03 AM
whew. Now that that is out of the way we can all start complaining about how the songs aren't $0.50 each! :D

LOL! :D You've been around here a while haven't you?

Anyway, before I start complaining: This is great news! Steve's Reality Distortion Field is more powerful and record exec's short-sighted greed...now that's truely amazing. :D :D :D

j-a-x
May 2, 2006, 08:22 AM
Rock on! 99 cents canadian is a good price
(although I normally buy full albums)

jzeiders
May 2, 2006, 08:59 AM
Awesome - :)

MrCrowbar
May 2, 2006, 10:10 AM
I'd love Apple to provide uncompressed .WAV files. Storage(bandwidth) issues could be resolved by using p2p technology so you don't download directly from Apple but rather from people that have already purchased the songs. Or make it like BitTorrent: Apple seeds, iTunes clients are peers. I love the idea of BitTorrent because it uses network capacities like SETI or Folding At Home. No need to have huge data centers and gigantic bandwidth for running a music store.

But when I think of it, it would be too easy to hack iTunes so you can download your songs without paying. :p
And .WAV files can't really hold copyright information, let alone any DRM. :(

I'd really buy on iTunes if the quality was better. I'll just keep on buying on Amazon for now.

alec
May 2, 2006, 10:13 AM
it's the power of the ipod. its nice to see record companies cower to someone else, instead of inforcing $15+ for a cd and a jewel case!

shamino
May 2, 2006, 10:23 AM
And .WAV files can't really hold copyright information, let alone any DRM. :(
You can wrap DRM around anything. It's no big deal to encrypt a file, slap on a header, and change the file type. And once you've done this, you can put all the tag/copyright information you want in that header. The only reason you don't see DRM-wrapped versions of WAV (and MP3, for that matter) is that it's hard to make a business case.

And since DRM will end up making the file proprietary, why bother? Why not instead use Apple Lossless, and make the files sizes smaller?

MrCrowbar
May 2, 2006, 11:36 AM
And since DRM will end up making the file proprietary, why bother? Why not instead use Apple Lossless, and make the files sizes smaller?

Because Lossless still has some compression in it. Kinda like WAV with variable bitrate. But thanks for the DRM info. I thought it was technically impossible to put it on WAV files (e.g. CD Audio).

Fabio_gsilva
May 2, 2006, 12:10 PM
I doubted that Steve would win this round... I was expecting a substancial change in pricing... But, again, SJ shows his theet and keep things the way he wanted it.

This was not a easy chat for sure..

Keebler
May 2, 2006, 12:19 PM
Actually, I want more complicated pricing. Namely, I want to be able to upgrade from a few tracks on an album to the entire album for the difference in price. That way, I can buy songs I already know and like and, when I find that the group's music has grown on me, I can "upgrade" to the album. I'd spend more if Apple allowed this. They don't have to make the interface look much different to do this. They can simply have the album prices change when you already purchased tracks from that album.

this is probably one of the key ways apple was able to get the record companies to bite on the 99 cents - by having your buy the full album, you are nullify the chance of buying 1 or 2 tracks first, then the whole album.

don't get be wrong, i think you're suggestion is great and i could see myself doing it as well, but i don't think the record execs would go with it.

regarding the orig post, i think it's great the record companies agreed.
if they jack the prices, i'll be getting my music elsewhere within a heartbeat. $10 or $11 for an album is good enough. not enough full quality albums being made these days to justify more imho.

Doctor Q
May 2, 2006, 01:38 PM
this is probably one of the key ways apple was able to get the record companies to bite on the 99 cents - by having your buy the full album, you are nullify the chance of buying 1 or 2 tracks first, then the whole album.

don't get be wrong, i think you're suggestion is great and i could see myself doing it as well, but i don't think the record execs would go with it.I understand your point. It means that market research oughta be done, to see whether most people are like me (they would spend more money with this suggested improvement) or most people would pay up front for entire albums based on liking a couple of songs. In other words, which would earn the record labels the most total sales?

shamino
May 2, 2006, 04:37 PM
Because Lossless still has some compression in it. Kinda like WAV with variable bitrate. But thanks for the DRM info. I thought it was technically impossible to put it on WAV files (e.g. CD Audio).
Why do you care if lossless compression is applied. A lossless algorithm, by definition, is one that will not lose a single bit of the original data when it is uncompressed. Think of it like a Zip or Stuffit file - if they lost data as a part of the compression, applications wouldn't run after unpacking them. Apple Lossless doesn't use the same algorithm as Zip and Sit, but the principle is the same.

This is completely different from lossy formats like JPG, MP3 and AAC. With these, the uncompressed data will be different from the original, which is why they are called "lossy".

bigandy
May 2, 2006, 05:39 PM
this was an obvious outcome. the record labels are thick, but they aren't stupid. or something. they realised the loss of revenue that would occurr from increasing prices - sometimes increasing a price is the last way possible to increase revenue.

although the "we need apple too much right now" bit sounds dubious...

iMacZealot
May 2, 2006, 06:59 PM
yay! This really shows that Apple is becoming a force to be reconned with. Not even big evil record labels can push Apple around.:cool:

Record companies aren't evil. I know first hand.

ioinc
May 2, 2006, 10:06 PM
Amazing that people don't see this as silly.

Why should all songs cost the same? Why should a popular song cost as much as an unpopular song?

Should all book cost the same? How about all cars?

The market should set the price... not Apple.

Perhaps Apple should be forced to sell all there software for the same price...... Perhaps the newest OS should cost the same as a quicktime license

shemp9999
May 2, 2006, 11:04 PM
Why should all songs cost the same? Why should a popular song cost as much as an unpopular song?


And why should older content cost as much as new content?

gman71882
May 2, 2006, 11:22 PM
Hopefully the future movie store will open with similar pricing :D :D

Doctor Q
May 3, 2006, 12:45 AM
Amazing that people don't see this as silly.

Why should all songs cost the same? Why should a popular song cost as much as an unpopular song?

Should all book cost the same? How about all cars?There is a difference that can partially justify it. Uniform pricing makes it easier to explain and use a music downloading site. To much of the public, the idea of switching their tried-and-true CD purchasing habits to a brand-new technology requires a leap of faith, a change in mindset. Old habits die hard. Having the price issue removed makes it that much easier for new buyers to adjust to the new model. They need only consider if a given song is worth the uniform price to them.

This isn't needed for books and cars, because people are used to buying them.

If you're a math geek like me, you think of it as measuring value instead of value divided by price - a simpler mental process.

Perhaps uniform pricing also made negotiating the deals with record labels simpler. No haggling one track at a time.

But... You are right about the flipside. A variable-pricing system would be more fair, have market-driven prices that change over time, be based on the (estimated) value of each individual item, and let us buy lesser-known or older music at comparatively bargain prices. Of course Vertigo by U2 would have cost us a lot more.

steve_hill4
May 3, 2006, 06:39 AM
That is great news....for the US. Why do we in Britain still have to pay .79 which comes out at $1.44????
Because we're special. Either that or a combination of VAT, extra royalty payments in this country and still using the stupid pound as a curency, (99 in the Eurozone countries too, which is about 0.69, even true in Ireland with 21% VAT).

shamino
May 3, 2006, 10:13 AM
Amazing that people don't see this as silly.

Why should all songs cost the same? Why should a popular song cost as much as an unpopular song?

Should all book cost the same? How about all cars?

The market should set the price... not Apple.
I don't think you understand what it means for a market to set prices. It doesn't mean customers walk in to a store and start haggling over the price of individual items. It means you are free to go shop somewhere else to get a better price.

The owner of a store always has the absolute right to set whatever price he wants. This includes Apple. If you think their prices are too high, go buy your music from somebody else. If enough people do, then they'll rethink their business model.
Perhaps Apple should be forced to sell all there software for the same price...... Perhaps the newest OS should cost the same as a quicktime license
Nobody is forcing you to buy music at any particular price, and nobody is forcing you to buy from Apple. If iTMS is too oppressive for you, you can buy CDs from hundreds of different stores. You can download unprotected music from many different on-line stores. You can buy music in WMA or ATRAC format from an even wider variety of stores.

If you think you have no choice but to buy from Apple, then you aren't looking very hard.

boncellis
May 3, 2006, 01:55 PM
Am I getting sucked into the Reality Distortion Field, or is Mr. Jobs becoming a viable candidate for the California Governorship?! ;)

Seriously though, I'm glad things will stay the way they have been for the near future. Why mess with a good thing?

milatchi
May 4, 2006, 11:47 PM
As I 've said before: 99 is the sweet spot as far as individual songs go. Anything higher seems unheard of, in my opinion.

ioinc
May 5, 2006, 09:19 AM
As I 've said before: 99 is the sweet spot as far as individual songs go. Anything higher seems unheard of, in my opinion.


Why is this the sweet spot? Why not 98 cents? Why not 1.01?
What is the opinion based on?

Has there been any testing?
Has nothing changed since the launch of iTunes?