Blog Post

Universal Joins Variable Pricing Fight

Universal Records had previously left the arguments for variable pricing for music downloads to Sony BMG and Warner, but has apparently been working behind the scenes to introduce the system.
“Revelation of the move comes about after Media Matters obtained a leaked copy of a contract between Universal and a smaller online retailer in the UK detailing the proposed prices. It specifies three price-bands for single tracks, dramatically increasing the wholesale price of some tracks and decreasing that of others.” I like the emphasis that the increase is dramatic but the decrease isn’t… in fact the figure quoted in the article is to increase the wholesale price of top-rate singles by 50 percent.
This has a very direct impact on mobile music. Selling full-track songs to mobiles is only going to be successful if the service can compete with online downloads, and the best chance of that happening is if online stores are forced to raise their prices. I’m not sure who will win…so far the labels seem to miss out if they’re not selling through iTunes but the labels do control the product. (Via our sister-site PaidContent.org)
Related stories:
A Quick Rethink Over Mobile Music
Record Labels Court Mobile Carriers
Carriers Must Tackle Pricing To Make Money At Music