iTunes Raises Its Prices Introduces ‘Variable Pricing’

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ENDGADGET: As promised, variable pricing has now been implemented at the iTunes music store. Already, we’re seeing most of the top 10 singles and 33 of the top 100 hitting the top price-point of $1.29 (encoded as DRM-free 256kbps AAC). Interesting as Amazon’s uncomfortably similar top 10 list has all these tracks priced at $0.99 (encoded as DRM-free 256kbps VBR MP3). A handful of tracks (nine in the top 100) do hit the higher $1.29 price further down Amazon’s list. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Looks like iTunes might be getting a big catalog overhaul, with most major labels finally offering up DRM free tunes. Our tipster mentioned DRM free goodies from Virgin, Sony BMG, American Recording and more (iTunes Plus has mainly been limited to EMI and some independents so far), and that most previously purchased songs are now upgradable for the same old price of $0.30 a song… Apple just made this very much official, and announced that some 8 million songs from all the major labels will indeed be DRM free, with a full ten million planned by the end of the quarter. MORE

UPDATE: As expected, Apple on Tuesday introduced variable pricing on iTunes, meaning that some popular tracks now cost $1.29 instead of $0.99. Less expected: Amazon.com has followed Apple into the fray. Scroll down today’s list of top downloads, and you’ll see a few tracks at $1.29. MORE

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