Changes At The iTunes Store
January 22, 2009 at 5:06 AM (PT)
On the heels of YESTERDAY's solid Q1 earnings reports (NET NEWS 1/21), APPLE announced several changes to the iTUNES Store. Beginning TODAY, all four major music labels -- UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, SONY BMG, WARNER MUSIC GROUP and EMI, along with thousands of independent labels -- are now offering their music in iTUNES Plus, APPLE's DRM-free format with higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.And beginning in APRIL, based on what the music labels charge APPLE, songs on iTUNES will be available at one of three price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29, with most albums still priced at $9.99.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTUNES customers DRM-free iTUNES Plus songs in high-quality audio and our iPHONE 3G customers the ability to download music from iTUNES anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi," said APPLE CEO STEVE JOBS.
iTUNES offers customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of previously purchased songs to the higher quality DRM-free iTUNES Plus format for just 30 cents per song or 30% of the album price. The iTunes Store will begin offering eight million of its 10 million songs in APPLE's DRM-free format, iTUNES Plus, today with the remaining two million songs offered in iTUNES Plus by the end of MARCH.