AfterDawn: Tech news

Amazon, Wal-Mart, raise MP3 download prices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 09 Apr 2009 1:10 User comments (25)

Amazon, Wal-Mart, raise MP3 download prices On Tuesday, Apple's iTunes went DRM-free, but at the same time began charging more for new hit singles, $1.29 USD, up from the standard $0.99.
Today, Amazon and Wal-Mart followed the move by upping the price of new tracks by 30 cents as well, to $1.29 on Amazon, and $1.24 at Wal-Mart. Apple now sells older tracks for 69 cents, 99 cents for most new tracks, and $1.29 for the biggest new hits.

Amazon's decision, in particular, seems strange especially considering the company dropped the price of the best selling MP3s in the UK version of the store just this week to rival Apple's increases.

According to NPD data, Amazon has about 16 percent market share in the legal music download market, far behind iTunes, but far ahead of all other competitors, including Wal-Mart.

Analyst Matt Rosoff adds: "I can't imagine Amazon's excited about raising prices in a recession?they're probably responding to price increases by the record labels, which were made possible by Apple's capitulation."

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25 user comments

19.4.2009 1:54

Wow, that's a great way to make people buy more music.

"So, we need to get more people to buy more music legally rather than download it for free illegally but have no chance of being caught. Hmmmm...."
"I Know, lets up the price of our legal downloads!"

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Apr 2009 @ 1:55

29.4.2009 2:15

What incentive is there when downloading costs as much as the CD? Guess there is a reason I do not download music from these sites. Of course, this doesn't include the nearly 20,000 songs I downloaded back when you could get free trial periods and download as many songs as you wanted--all "protected" by Microsoft's "Plays for Sure" WMDRM.

How I miss FairUse4WM.

39.4.2009 4:24

Hmmm a world recession is upon us, and everyone is struggling what should we do to get people to buy more music? Hey, lets raise the price!
Sorry but the harsh reality is this will only increase music pirating. Smart people already use itunes to preview an album and then just hit a torrent site to download the album for free. This is a HUGE fail for itunes and its contemporaries. I know I personally wont pay $1.29 a song..and really why a $1.29? What was wrong with $0.99?

49.4.2009 5:24

It was already too expensive at 99 cents. No biggie though - there are better ways to go about getting music.

59.4.2009 5:26

Anyone here noticed that the good bands who make good music actually let people pay what they want/just give it away?

69.4.2009 6:01

The thing is you can't really find these 69 cents songs on iTunes... Even very old ones are still 99 cents...

79.4.2009 7:01

I bet iTunes will start selling copyright expired songs for 69 soon

89.4.2009 7:10

mo money in the pocket for this greedy pricks

99.4.2009 10:20

99 to download a song in a lossless format .....mmmm, maybe.

$1.29 for an mp3 lossy format? Or even 99 I don't think so. I'll stick to a buying CD quality format.

109.4.2009 11:59

These music download stores should stop selling lossy music. If you paid for lossy music, you just got swindled. Customers shouldn't accept any less than lossless DRM-free music. Paying for single downloads is expensive but there is a need for that option (if you are opposed to piracy that is) because it's very common for an album to be crap overall but yet have a couple or a few good songs. Also, if you can't obtain a CD of the album you want where you live, it's nice to have the option of downloading the entire album (once again, if you don't want to pirate) so there is a need for that too.

But I'm a bloody pirate so I refuse to pay for music anymore period. At least for the time being. I used to do the whole downloading the album off P2P for free and then buying the CD if I like it thing but I stopped doing that once I realized how much money I was wasting. If I buy another CD again, it will be because I can't find a pirated lossless version for free download on torrents, IRC, rapidshare, etc. And the CD has to be non-RIAA to boot. Contrary to the opinion of some, not all music on the major labels is mainstream top 40 crap but I refuse to give my money to the RIAA again. Even if I buy second-hand, I suppose that's supporting the RIAA indirectly as well. The used music market gives people incentive to buy CDs because they know they can sell them later if they get tired of them.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Apr 2009 @ 12:07

119.4.2009 12:40

If their past experience is any indication, this industry has yet again made the wrong business decision. Their timing couldn't be poorer - raising rates in the middle of a recession... C'mon., who's advising them anyway??

After all, when it became clear that music was moving to the internet, how many YEARS did it take them to get with the program?? In my humble opinion, that's one of the major reasons that P2P and illegal downloading was able to get such a foothold.

They played it wrong, as usual.

129.4.2009 12:48

Buying used CDs does not help anyone except the person you are buying it from. I am good with that.

I hope the morons raise the tunes to 2.50! A 1.25 is not enough to stop all the morons from buying. I think 2.50 would do the trick. That might wake them out of the zombie state they must be in.

I did spill enough bile to be confortable!

Half of what I get the f*in morons don't even sell CDs in my country, the US. They are too lazy to try to sell the different artists that they feel are not a 'sure thing'.

If the music industry isn't promoting junk rappers and other morons they are promoting stars that don't need promotion. They have no tallent for recoginzing real tallent when they see it.

They out to open the flood gates and just give away 90 BR music from all over the world and have nicely set up forums so people could discuss music. They need to convert evey CD and LP sold anywhere in the world into mp3s and lossless formats. Let people freely swap the free stuff then sell lossless for 5/dollar. After a few years they wouldn't know what to do with all that money. People would feel good about the music industry. Instead we get the stinking, blood sucking lawyers that complain not enough people are buying their way over priced crappy music.

Now I feel better!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Apr 2009 @ 13:02

139.4.2009 14:01

Originally posted by gallagher:
What incentive is there when downloading costs as much as the CD? Guess there is a reason I do not download music from these sites. Of course, this doesn't include the nearly 20,000 songs I downloaded back when you could get free trial periods and download as many songs as you wanted--all "protected" by Microsoft's "Plays for Sure" WMDRM.

How I miss FairUse4WM.
You miss it??? I STILL use it to this day! Earlier versions of WMP 11 have an IBX version that's still compatible with the FU4WM and FreeMe2.

149.4.2009 14:32

Despite Amazon now changing their pricing, they are still in great shape to catch up with iTunes. Overall, their prices are better and that means everything in this economy. And on top of that, they do a great job with daily promotions and deals which people eat up! For example, I love their daily mp3 album deal which is a complete album download for usually around $2 or $3. That is an affordable way for me to build up my mp3 collection while not spending a fortune. You just need to be patient while you wait for an album you like. I use the following page and gadget to track the deal so I never miss one:

159.4.2009 14:40

Nobody likes price increases, but it's still a bargain! In the 1970s a 45RPM single cost about a dollar. The sound quality was generally terrible. In those days I would have gladly paid $3 to get digital quality... OK.. I know MP3 is lossy, but it still sounds much better than a vinyl '45.

So 30 or 40 years later, for about the same price, you can get a better-sounding DRM-free file that lasts forever (if you make a back-up), and it never gets "scratched".

1610.4.2009 0:39

Apple is dominating amazon, amazon raises prices in an effort to compete...??? Music downloads are waaaay too expensive. There is simply too much money being made by the music industry for the to constantly complain about being hurt by illegal downloading. This is not going to help their "cause" at all.

1710.4.2009 0:50

Nobody likes price increases,It was already too expensive!

1810.4.2009 1:58

Hey let's up the price of our biggest hits that are 6 months old and everyone already has because I mean people can just google the song and download it for free in 30 seconds anyway--might as well..

1910.4.2009 8:05

DVDdoug, we must be using different math. In that same time period LPs went for 2.5 to 3 USDs. LPs have at least the quality of the CD and infinatly better than the junk mp3s they sell. LPs cost much more of the precentage of the sale price than a CD. Of the $3 probably 2 went to the retailer and the music industry slpit the rest with the manufacturer. At that time contracts were often flat fees and best you might get a kick back for each sale. NO ONE got a precentage of the sale price or fees for use, such as advertising. At best, the artist got a penny or two each time their song was sold. Those artists would have had to be in their hay-day to get more than a one time cash settlement. Now 40s later after the music industry has made millions on the tune they were getting .75 USD per tune pocketing 73-74 cents.

My my my math they are making $75 per album instead of $.50. That is 30,000% of their original profit. Half the persons buying the music have bought it at least on time before.

They claim that is not enough! Why!!!!! If it was a patent the license would have expired decades ago. The only reason it is not is they have every politician in the world in their pocket so they can rape the world for billions per year. They is why they are often refered to as the Media Mafia, not becasue they are generous to the public.

2010.4.2009 17:57

Reminds me of the greed in the pre-CD era late 80's/very early 90's with Cassette singles and Cassette EP's. They sold for $.99 a peice an sold like crazy. The RIAA got greedy and bumped them up to $3.99 a peice (a full length album on cassette back then was $8.99). I like many never bought another Cassette single, and the concept died almost over night.
Smooth move RIAA.
The same happened with CD singles. only they came out at $3.99. Many were like WTF? CD cost less to make than cassettes. CD singles never caught on.

All P2P has done is give people the great music they want without having to get it in the a$$ from greedy executives that don't even represent the actual artists. It's removed the red tape and freed the music to reach the masses.

2110.4.2009 21:34

Originally posted by Lothros:
I bet iTunes will start selling copyright expired songs for 69 soon
lol, have you even READ the copyright laws. Basically, any work of art (song / track) is copywritten for the entire author's life + 90 years. The only songs that wouldn't fall under that would be songs from before 1960, but those are still copywritten till the end of the author's life unless the track is owned by a corporation.

2210.4.2009 21:49

Originally posted by jookycola:

All P2P has done is give people the great music they want without having to get it in the a$$ from greedy executives that don't even represent the actual artists. It's removed the red tape and freed the music to reach the masses.
Be HONEST with yourself. If all P2P has done is give people great music at a deep discount (5 finger), then you're sorely mistaken.

Positives that come to mind:
P2P HAS given the WORLD a new digital delivery system. It has given SOME unknown artist a chance at viral marketing. It has also pushed MP3 into the average joe home as before Napster, very very few people used MP3 for anything but minor archiving.

Negatives that come to mind:
P2P has eaten so much more bandwidth than ever expected from any one medium. Wonder why Time Warner and others are going to a capped system, blame P2P (well half of P2P, other half would be Youtube such sites) P2P is also responsible for spreading more kiddie pron around the world than any other medium as well. If you think that it's a good thing that the record executives don't get paid, do you HONESTLY believe that the artist is going to be paid BEFORE the executives? no, not a fat chance. P2P is most responsible for indie artists not able to get regional / national distribution where they were before. and probably the worst thing that P2P has brought... everyone thinks they're a record producer, beat maker, singer, or musician. I'm sorry to say, P2P has just brought more crap to the surface than before. (and we all know how much crap was out between 99 - 2002)

Do I think label/riaa are greedy? yes! Do I think that artist STILL get shafted? yes! Do I believe MP3 or P2P will ever change that? nope. Technology will help smaller artist achieve goals, however P2P won't be the way to do it. It's like a flea market. You go there to check things out, but rarely do you ever find any gemms, so you wouldn't really want to be caught dead selling/distributing your stuff there.

2313.4.2009 9:04

djgizmo, I think P2P has even done more than that. I believe it has created interest in music again. The RIAA has sucked the life blood out of that industry. Like the car industry, they had priced themselfs out of jobs. Persons still buy both but not like they did when the products were more affordable. I would buy an LP a week but only the ones on sale. The music shop always had some new LPs on sale. I bet that is where they made most of their money. $3 was too much for one per week but $2.50 was doable. I was making $5/hr. Now kids that age make $10/hr and they are looking at $20-$30 a CD. Dispite what DVDdoug says, that is not affordable let alone a super fantastic buy.

I contend the RAII either promotes stars that do not need promoting or trash that meets their mindless criteria. They do not have the competance to promote something new that is high quality.

P2P sites allow users to explore music and download quality music. Hopefully the users actually buy upcomming tallent that needs support even though they have the music.

2413.4.2009 10:00

newsgroups are where you find kiddie porn.. not torrents

anyway.. we PAY for our bandwidth.. so the isp's should put up or shut up.. It's illegal to charge for a pint then only serve 3/4 .. the excuse "we are a little short" isn't good enough.. ask a beer retailer XD

I distribute my music for free.. I'm not after your money. Quit the lame old excuses.. coming out with the tired old rubbish about p2p sucking up bandwidth.. the simple fact of it is this.. The isp's are plain and simple greedy.. they have found a way to buy politicians to turn a blind eye to illegal weights and measures practices.. and most of them are in the business of selling cable tv.. guess what they want the bandwidth for :)

2513.4.2009 10:29

Good point varnull! I like the give away approch. If you give it away some will try to pay back. I do try to buy music from struggling artists that I feel need support even if I have lossless copies of their music. The last 4 CDs I bought other than street performers, I had to import. The US music industry didn't want to sell their music. I am happy they lost those profits. I relax my quality standards for street performers. Need is part of my criteria to open my wallet.

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