Sony Music has sparked controversy following its decision to increase the price of Whitney Houston’s Ultimate Collection album on the iTunes Store just hours after the singer was pronounced dead.
UK publication Guardian reports:
The music giant is understood to have lifted the wholesale price of Houston’s greatest hits album, Ultimate Collection, at about 4am California time on Sunday. This meant that the iTunes retail price of the album automatically increased from £4.99 to £7.99.
Houston’s The Ultimate Collection, originally released in 1997, was the second top-selling album on iTunes on Monday morning. Apple returned the album to its original price late on Sunday.
But it seemed the damage had been done, with fans commenting that the move was simply a bid to cash in on the tragedy.
Sony Music owns Houston’s back catalogue of music and when it upped the wholesale price of the album, this, in turn, increased the retail price tag, though Apple is ultimately in charge of approving the price that consumers pay for music via iTunes.
Following the shock death of Houston – aged 48 – her albums Ultimate Collection and Whitney – The Greatest Hits were ranked in the top three most popular albums on iTunes.
Both Sony Music and Apple have so far declined to comment on the matter.
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