Today is the day Apple ends its long-standing practice of $.99 for every song on iTunes. There are now three tiers, with the old price joined by $1.29 for some popular tracks and $.69 for some forgotten ones. They’re basically hoping that demand for online singles is inelastic (or, for those of you who haven’t taken Basic Economics, that a 30% increase in price will lead to less than a 30% decrease in units sold, and vice versa for the $.69 tracks).
My musical purchases don’t include much Top 40 fare, so I’ve been anticipating that the higher prices won’t affect me but that the lower prices would give me a nice discount on the less-popular stuff I was considering buying already. I browsed through the store today and found a few songs in the top lists for $1.29 but hardly anything for sixty-nine cents (Bob Carlisle’s “Butterfly Kisses (Country Remix)” doesn’t count). Come on… I at least wanted to be tempted to get The Swift’s debut album, or the DeGarmo & Key tape I listened to growing up, or Andrew Peterson, or something! All still $.99 a track.
Maybe it will take some time for the labels to play around with this variable pricing, and I’m still hoping they will decide to drop big portions of their forgotten back catalogs to the lower tier. I’ll be keeping an eye on things.