The New York Post is reporting the record labels can’t convince Stonewall Jobs to use variable pricing in the iTunes Music Store.
The companies (refering to the recording agencies) all charge different wholesale prices – roughly between 60 cents and 80 cents a track – but within each company the prices are the same. Now they have said they want variable pricing – the ability to charge less for some tracks and more for others – something Jobs has resisted because he wants to maintain the standard 99 cents-per-track retail price.
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.
I really do hope it stays where it is now. There is still a huge area for growth and it is still too early for change. The only advantage variable pricing has is on crappy music being cheaper and popular songs priced over a dollar. When Steve Jobs announced iTunes, he said he had a feeling that people would buy downloaded songs individually at a buck. That seems to be the case given the statistics the music store produces. Why mess with something that isn’t broken?