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iTunes Store Free to Continue Dominating Digital Music Sales

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We reported earlier on the possibility of a 66% raise in royalty fees for digital music distributors. Have no fear readers, the iTunes store will continue offering the generous service of providing somewhere for you to dump all that spare cash. According to CNET News, the Copyright Royalty Board informed interested parties yesterday that they’ve frozen the amount owed music publishers by digital music retailers at 9.1 cents per track.

Apple’s strong statement to Fortune published Monday this week seems to have had some influence on the Royalty Board’s decision. Everyone, however, is claiming to be happy with the deal. Record labels see it as a guarantee that even if they up music prices, the cut they pay out to artist stays the same. Artists themselves are happy that they’re guaranteed the same take away even if physical music sales continue to trend downward. Apple and company are just happy to stave off a potentially devastating cut to their bottom line. The decision today represents the first time a formally set (or “mechanical”) rate has been set for digital downloads.

Nice to see that Apple isn’t afraid to brandish its market strength like a club. As their market share grows, expect to see their influence over industry policy grow. Let’s all hope for responsible musical overlords.