Report: iTunes price hike hurts sales

Peter Cohen, Macworld
14 April, 2009
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Billboard reports that there’s already evidence that the recent change to song pricing in iTunes may have hurt sales of individual songs.

On Tuesday, April 7th, Apple announced that all digital rights management (DRM) had been removed from music sold on the iTunes Store. The company also unveiled tiered pricing for individual songs and albums.

The new tiered pricing prices some songs at $US0.69, others at $US0.99, and others at $US1.29. Australian iTunes Store songs still cost $1.69.

Writing for Billboard.biz, Glenn Peoples reports that the changes in chart position between Tuesday and Thursday indicate that higher prices had forced many songs to drop in chart position to lower-priced songs.

“By Thursday, there were a total of 15 songs that had risen to $1.29 from a $0.99 price on Tuesday. Over the two-day period, those 15 songs had lost an average of 1.5 chart positions,” Peoples wrote.

He cautions that his analysis does not take into account sales trends that would have existed with the absence of price changes, however. External factors including radio play, media attention, time since release date and other issues could have also affected the rise and fall of certain songs.

“What is left is an incomplete but valuable look at the impact of price increases on relative sales performance,” Peoples concluded.

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