Record labels will rejoice later today when Apple launches its new three-tier price points at 69 cents, 99 cents and US$1.29 – a move it is envisaged will boost music sales by giving consumers greater choice.
Since it opened in 2003, all tracks on iTunes have been priced at 99 cents.
However, it is understood that this one-price-fits-all approach has been a thorn in the side of music labels such as Sony, Universal and Warner, who believe different prices will affect perceived value in the eyes of music buyers.
While the majority of songs will be sold at 99 songs, new hit songs could retail for US$1.29. Many older catalogue songs will now go for 69 cents.
Big labels such as Sony believe they can make more money with more flexible prices and by throwing in a new mix of song-based packages.
Over six billion songs have been downloaded from iTunes since the service first launched on April 28, 2003.
By John Kennedy