The Rambler :: blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Sort it out! 

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From Times Online (for those who aren't or can't register):

The competition watchdog is being urged to investigate Apple's iTunes service over claims that it is over-charging UK music fans by up to 20 per cent.

The Consumers' Association (CA) said that while iTunes charges UK based customers 79p to download one track, customers in France or Germany have to pay only 99 euro cents - the equivalent of 67p. The US iTunes site charges users 99 US cents (55p) per song.

And calling your customers suckers and claiming that as an excuse doesn't help:

Apple has denied the charge, saying that UK fans are used to paying higher prices for music and its pricing structure was in line with other British online stores.

Now, don't get me wrong - I have nothing against Apple, and I'm an iMac, iTunes, iPod user myself (well, I'm married to an iPod user, which counts I guess) - and I have nothing against pay-for downloads. But I've said right from the start that the only way to make this work is to price fairly and sensibly. Consumers know what they're paying for, and what everyone else is paying for it. I still think 67 pence (the equivalent of the EU price) is too much: Real's 27 pence equivalent is a much better reflection of how much MP3s cost to make, distribute, store and market - the UK-based Wippit is still running its summer sale, in which all MP3s are just 29p - again, a fair price. C'mon Apple, we're not stupid.

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