iTunes’ Variable Pricing Launch: By The Numbers

noah | April 7, 2009 10:30 am

Apple’s iTunes Store launched its variable pricing for music today, where certain songs will have their prices pumped up by 30 cents to $1.29. (Other songs will have their prices slashed to 69 cents.) A glance at the store’s top 100 songs shows that about one-third of the best-selling tracks have had their prices inflated—a number that includes the store’s top two songs as of this writing, the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” and Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face.” I’ll be checking back during the day to see if the inflated prices of those two songs results in their floating down the chart (or if the still-99-cent levy one has to pay for “The Climb” helps it out at all), but for now, here are a few other factoids I noticed about Day One of Apple’s experiment with economic theory:

Percentage of the Top 10 that had its price inflated: 60% (Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”; Lady GaGa, “Poker Face”; Flo Rida, “Right Round”; Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”; All-American Rejects, “Gives You Hell”; Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake, “Love Sex Magic”)Highest-ranking song that remained at 99 cents: Miley Cyrus, “The Climb” (No. 4 on the chart as of this writing)Lowest-ranking song that had its price pushed up: The-Dream, “Rockin’ That Thang” (No. 91)Percentage of the Bottom 10 that had its price inflated: 10% (The-Dream only)Genre most likely to see a price increase: “Hip-Hop/Rap” (10 out of 20)Genre least likely to see a price increase: “Soundtracks” (none), then “Alternative” (one out of eight)Did any song in the top 100 get its price slashed? Ha. Ha. Hahahahahaha.Number of $1.29 songs that are also available to be used as iPhone ringtones: Zero. A glitch in the system, or are the record companies still figuring out a way to charge a premium on top of a premium?

Top Songs [iTunes; launches iTunes application]