Major Labels: US$0.99 is Too Cheap!

Even though many listeners think that the current average price for a downloaded music track is a tad on the high side, the five major labels have got together to discuss putting the price up – by quite a bit, too.

At US$0.99 (€0.83), music is doing OK, if not exactly flying off the servers – yet a hike to US$1.25 or even US$2.99 per song is being talked about. Online music stores are expensive to run, say the industry, and most of them lose money. Apple does very well out of iTunes, and sells a lot of iPods because of it, but the labels don’t see much out of it.

The legal download business is only just starting to flourish – a price rise on this scale will surely kill it off completely.

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?