Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Jobs Bemoans 'Greedy' Music Providers Seeking iTunes Price Hike

The Associated Press reports that Steve Jobs vowed "to repel greedy record companies' demands for higher music download prices, warning that any such move would encourage piracy." Jobs was at the Apple Expo in Paris and said "some music majors were pushing for an increase in prices on Apple's online iTunes Music Store."

Philip Leigh at Inside Digital Media, said "A full CD might have only three or four popular songs. Now that the consumer's able to buy each song individually, they don't have to buy the whole CD, and the labels are concerned that this will result in lower revenues." However with Apple leading the market, "it's going to be very difficult for the labels to avoid dealing with Steve Jobs on his terms," added Leigh.

According to Ted Schadler at Forrester Research, "studies showed consumers would pay more for the most popular tracks," but "among Internet users ages 12 to 21, about 50 percent share tracks illegally, while just 6 percent buy online and don't share." Schadler said, "This is a minority phenomenon. Why would you do anything to put a kink in that?"

Of course Jobs has Apple's best interests in mind, but if prices are raised, especially for mobile over the air downloads, then consumers will find other ways to get their music. For free. The music industry needs to realize that a smaller piece of the pie is better than none at all...