The new iTunes pricing

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.

DRM will change too, here is much more information.  This is first a way to raise prices, yet without the consumer seeing nothing in return.  But it’s also a sign of the maturing of the market.  The most popular songs will be less of a loss leader for the hardware.  Relaxation of DRM suggests that Apple fears long-run competition from less regulated sources, including CD burning from friends.  Most of all this is a sign that the music business continues to experience economic troubles.  You could call it the "do anything to increase revenue now" strategy.  For 30 cents a song you can make your entire current collection DRM-free.

By the way, on DRM and related issues, I recommend the new James Boyle book Public Domain.  The book is free and on-line here.  You can buy it from Amazon here.


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