iTunes And Amazon Continue To Play “Name That Price”

Apr 9th, 2009 // 8 Comments

When the iTunes Store introduced variable pricing earlier this week, 60% of the songs in the store’s top 10 had their prices hiked by 30 cents; as of this writing, eight of those 10 tracks are now priced at $1.29, with Kid Cudi’s “Day N’ Nite” and Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It” seeing price increases over the past two days. (Thanks, America, for keeping the top 10 pretty much static so a fair comparison between then and now can be made!)

The $0.99-$1.29 split in iTunes’ Top 100 songs list is now a 50-50ish split; perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the top sellers have seen their prices slashed to 69 cents just yet. To show people that there are bargains to be had, however, iTunes has also launched a couple of genre-specific “Great Songs At Great Prices” playlists hawking songs that saw their prices go down, like Hole’s “Miss World” and George Michael’s “Monkey.”

Meanwhile, Amazon MP3 continues to tinker with its pricing structure; the bulk of its top-selling songs are still at 99 cents, although “Day N’ Nite” is only 89 cents there. Curiously, most of the top-selling songs who have had their prices raised are by artists who record for Sony Music subsidiaries—Britney Spears, Ciara, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce. Makes you wonder just how long the labels are going to want to experiment, or if some labels are still a bit invested in helping Amazon slice away some of Apple’s market share.

Earlier: iTunes’ Variable Pricing Launch: By The Numbers
Earlier: Amazon’s MP3 Pricing Plan: Looks Like They Went The “Pick Songs Out Of A Hat” Route

  1. LostTurntable

    I don’t know if it’s worth mentioning or not, but some online music stores still haven’t jumped on the variable pricing bandwagon. If you have horrible taste in music and want to save thirty cents you can still buy Black Eyed Peas’ new single at Shockhound (Hot Topic’s online music store) for 99 cents.

  2. Al Shipley

    @LostTurntable: Hot Topic has an mp3 store!? And it’s called Shockhound!? God, why have we not been making fun of this already?

  3. Halfwit

    I mentioned that Sony bit in comments on the last post (citing Hypebot). It seems that Sony has “point of sale” price control (which kinda makes sense, since they were the last holdout, and probably negotiated for the more mercenary deal).

    As for the rest of the insanity, I’m not sure. I still don’t think that the variable pricing for Amazon is as noteworthy as it was for Apple. I’ve seen tracks priced at .79 and $1+ on Amazon for several months now.

  4. Maura Johnston

    @Halfwit: i hadn’t seen many tracks that were more than a dollar!

  5. Anonymous

    Was it naive of me to hope that the number of songs that got price cuts would be in some way proportional to the number of songs that had increased prices?

  6. Rob Murphy

    @Al Shipley: Dan wrote it up a while back, but he seemed to like the idea, actually:


  7. LostTurntable

    @Al Shipley: Yeah, it’s a pretty lousy store, but you can buy bad music there cheaper!

  8. Halfwit

    @Maura Johnston: I’ve only seen it for 17 minute “hidden track” songs, or otherwise particularly long songs.

    Sorry for the lateness of my reply.

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