The power of competition.
With heavyweights Amazon, HMV and Universal all announcing bold new plans to upset the iTunes apple cart (yes, pun intended), Steve Jobs has responded in the most obvious way: price cuts.
No official announcement has yet been made but DRM-free ‘iTunes Plus’ albums have today fallen from £9.99 to £7.99. Individual DRM-free tracks also set to drop from 99p to 79p each though this has yet to be implemented at the time of publication.
Happily, as my screen grab shows, it isn’t just the small Indie labels that Apple has battered over the head here since its major DRM-free ally EMI is also on-board and the new pricing is said to be compulsory for any label which wishes to sell unrestricted music on iTunes in the future.
Naturally enough, Stateside pricing will drop as well with DRM-free tracks down to just $0.99 (50p) from $1.29.
So while iTunes has faced (and comprehensively beaten) all online download challenges to date what remains clear is that recent industry movement has got it looking over its shoulder and for customers that’s a win/win.