Disparate pricing between countries in iTunes store

macwatch

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 29, 2011
13
2
Melbourne, AU
My daughter wanted to buy the first season of The Fosters. So I looked at the price on the AU iTunes store, I was somewhat dismayed! Then I looked at the price on the US store. Needless to say I didn't buy from the AU store!!! This is not to have a go at Apple, rather the greed of the distributor in AU. I'm sure this happens all over the world, I just hadn't come across such a difference before.
 

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cyclotron451

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2005
218
1
Europe
I know of quite a few ATV users who buy out-of-area, to avoid local price-gouging, and local-language choices. I haven't had to resort to VPN's yet, just the careful establishment of a valid UK & US & etc iTunes/AppleID.

It slightly affects streaming, in that the gigabyte of file for your HD-treat is supposed to be moved to the Apple CDN server "closest to you" and I think that is done on your 'declared' location, this might mean that you have to buffer/download the whole movie before starting to play it, but I simply choose SD format-only to help minimise the content delivery problems.

the whole Breaking-Bad d/l was around 77GB from Apple somewhere but at least I paid for it!
 

pacmania1982

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2006
989
186
Birmingham, UK
I have a UK Apple ID which I use with my iPhone, iPad and rMBP, but I also have a US one that I use for my Apple TV mainly because of the pricing. I opened it while in the US a few years ago with am iTunes Gift Card.

pac
 

betman

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2013
259
2
If you need American gift cards you can buy them on eBay, just be careful to choose an appropriate seller.
Yeah, be VERY careful with that as you can get your iTunes account locked for using a code from a dodgy seller (even if it credits normally at first and everything seems fine for several weeks...).

As for prices, I stopped using iTunes almost completely once I discovered Hulu+/Netflix. Even 'The Walking Dead', which just came out in the UK on DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes, is now available at the US version of Netflix as part of your subscription.

The only time I'm tempted to buy something from iTunes is when it's their 'tv show of the week' or some other special price promo. Overall I find their prices higher than Amazon.co.uk even, which is a joke if you consider that the Blu-Ray version including manufacturing costs, delivery to your door, etc. still come out cheaper than an iTunes download...
 

pacmania1982

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2006
989
186
Birmingham, UK
I have a friend in the US that has a business of selling US iTunes gift cards on Facebook. I've used him for at least five years without issue.

I also buy UK gift cards for him which he sells to people who want UK content from whatever country they are in.

I still have two accounts though, I don't switch.
 

sodapop1

Suspended
Sep 7, 2014
187
1,282
The only time I'm tempted to buy something from iTunes is when it's their 'tv show of the week' or some other special price promo. Overall I find their prices higher than Amazon.co.uk even, which is a joke if you consider that the Blu-Ray version including manufacturing costs, delivery to your door, etc. still come out cheaper than an iTunes download...
Yes, in many instances digital is more expensive than physical blu-rays but this really isn't Apple's fault. As you may have heard, Amazon is at war with several book publishers for the very same reason. I read a very good article that provided a very detailed explanation of the challenges between digital versus physical media pricing.

In a nutshell, physical media is bought in bulk from a publisher at specific price by a retailer who then can resell it to you at a higher or lower price. Digital media, on the other hand, is sold on a per copy basis where the price is set by the publisher. In the case with Amazon, they are using their market breadth as the largest retailer to strong arm the publishers into lowering the pricing of digital media by refusing to sell their books.

As a consumer, I obviously want the lowest price and think retailers should be more concerned about what percentage they get for each transaction rather than trying to dictate the price a content creator can sell their product for. Ultimately, the market itself will determine the best price for a product but with digital media the retailer has less influence over the pricing than they do with the traditional wholesale model.
 
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betman

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2013
259
2
I get what you're saying, but then why is the publisher setting such over-the-top prices for the digital version when the costs are incomparably lower that producing the physical Blu-Ray disc/box, distributing them, etc.?

Same for the retailer's cut - they should be charging minimal margins for just facilitating a data transfer compared to having to store and send out physical discs to customers.