Saturday, April 11, 2009

iTunes, Obviously

Something fishy is going on at the iTunes music store...

Apparently, songs whose rankings were once respectable have fallen off. Curious, very curious. The song remains the same, as they say, but for some reason people just stopped buying it. Not only does this sales slump suck for Mr. Jobs, but someone else is suffering, namely the artist. What ever could it be?

Oh, yeah. iTunes raised the prices of some songs to $1.29! By golly, I think we've got it. Or Billboard does at least.

Though the price move is in its infancy, there are some signs that do not bode well for the future. Glenn Peoples writes:
On Wednesday, one day after the price increase, the iTunes Top 100 chart had 40 songs priced at $1.29 and 60 with the original $0.99 price point. The $1.29 songs lost an average of 5.3 places on the chart while the $0.99 songs gained an average of 2.5 chart positions.
They also have this helpful bar graph that even children could understand:
As it appears, the $1.29 price tag may hurt sales enough to render the revenue increase irrelevant. In short, everyone could make less money. Now we all know that whatever iTunes says, goes in terms of buying music online but they may have done something right now that they have a built-in clientele. An extra 30 cents is probably negligible to customers who routinely purchase their favorite hits from the online store and as the Peoples piece explains, "A song that drops from #7 to #10, for example, could lose about 4,500 units over two days but gain an incremental $3,600."

But I see this as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. See, downloading only gets easier while prices keep rising. CDs saw this problem, too -- as less and less people bought them, we saw more and more $17.99 price tags and eventually, the scale tips and the ease of illegality outweighs the loyalty one held for purchasing music. Time will tell, I guess, but let's just say I have a hunch.

No comments:

Post a Comment