Beginning this week, three of the four major music labels — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — will begin selling music through iTunes without digital rights management software, or D.R.M., which controls the copying and use of digital files. The fourth, EMI, was already doing so. And with the copying restrictions removed, people will be able to freely shift the songs they buy on iTunes among computers, phones and other digital devices.
Instead, the majority of songs will drop to 69 cents beginning in April, while the biggest hits and newest songs will go for $1.29. Others that are moderately popular will remain at 99 cents.
The music industry has been in a slump for the past few years, and the on-going recession is not helping. Sales of CDs fell 20 percent last year from 2007. About 2.4 billion songs were bought on iTunes in the last year, aided by Apple’s expansion into international markets. But that was not nearly enough to make up for losses in traditional retail stores.
plez sez: ding! dong! the wicked witch is dead!
to my way of thinking, the ONLY drawback to using iTunes (and the iPod) was the lack of portability of the music. in my house, my wife, the SugarPlum, and i each have our own iPods. since i travel, i like having music on my laptop as well as my iPod. now, i'll be able to copy my music library onto my laptop.
i love old soul and funk... i never understood why i had to pay 99 cents for a song whether it had just come out or if it had been out for over 30 years! a tiered pricing approach makes more sense.
Read the New York Times article about how iTunes is changing their tune.
Read the CNN.com article about music sharing.