Apple to lower UK iTunes Prices, Standardize Across Europe

Within the next six months, Apple plans to lower the prices it charges for music on its UK iTunes Store, in order to match the already standardized pricing on iTunes across Europe in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. Because Apple must pay some record labels more to distribute their music in the UK, compared to how much is paid to distribute the same music elsewhere in Europe, the company announced it will reconsider its continuing relationship in the UK with any record label that does not lower its wholesale prices in the UK within six months. Obviously this is a very bold (and potentially risky) move.

The iTunes Store price-standardization is a continuing effort from Apple, one that will definitely be welcomed very much in the UK. I just hope that the record labels will comply and that those in the UK suddenly don’t find themselves with less content at their iTunes store. “This is an important step towards a pan-European marketplace for music. We hope every major record label will take a pan-European view of pricing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

Thanks whistlerxp for the heads up on this one!

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19 Comments

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Music rental is fine by me. I see it exactly like renting a DVD from the store - you can keep it for as long as you like if you keep paying them. I'm a keen fan of Napster, but I sometimes find it hard to justify the cost of the sub.

Meh, forget iTunes. I think we should have Oink back. Now THERE'S something I wouldn't mind paying a monthly subscription to.

Dakkaroth said,
Meh, forget iTunes. I think we should have Oink back. Now THERE'S something I wouldn't mind paying a monthly subscription to. :/

But people want to own their music, not rent it. If you rent it and forget to pay your monthly fee, BOOM! All your music stops working. Your music also stops working if the store closes down. It happened to users of Virgin's music service.

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/09/24/vi...digital_closes/

If we used the euro as our currency this would never have happened, and "rip-off Britain" would not exist.

If this were the case we would be per capita richer than the US, as it is expected this year average earnings in the UK to exceed the US, but the US is cheaper so people will still be relatively a bit richer (they have a greater purchasing power).

While it might help us when trading with Europe, we'd be a lot worse off under the Euro - its a weaker currency than the British pound, we'd get fewer dollars/yen etc for our money and so imports from outside Europe to the UK would cost us more ...

Rip-off Britain? Think about the products thats usually used against, Vista for example - that came from outside the UK, if we were part of the Euro, it would have cost us more.

winmoose said,
If we used the euro as our currency this would never have happened, and "rip-off Britain" would not exist.

Except that the price difference has nothing to do with currency, but is instead to do with the licensing fees in the UK - this would happen whether we had the euro, the pound, the shekel or the yen.

That's the point! There are more songs that are not available. the libraries all across europe iTMS are almost the same. US, japan, etc.. those are the wants I want to buy from (and pay, well, less!)

apple is scum! They are keeping prices higher, not the artists as they so well say are.
And it is going to take a few months to sort out ? Yeh, well robbing more people of more money is always a plus to a scum company, so it pretty much goes without saying that its all down to apple anyway, and they are just gonna rob people for as long as they can get away with it
Which? filed the complaint in 2004, so far its been going on for 4 years, musta earnt quite a darn lot as well

n_K said,
apple is scum! They are keeping prices higher, not the artists as they so well say are.
And it is going to take a few months to sort out ? Yeh, well robbing more people of more money is always a plus to a scum company, so it pretty much goes without saying that its all down to apple anyway, and they are just gonna rob people for as long as they can get away with it
Which? filed the complaint in 2004, so far its been going on for 4 years, musta earnt quite a darn lot as well

theyre risking losing contracts with labels in order to lower the prices for you...?

n_K said,
apple is scum! They are keeping prices higher, not the artists as they so well say are.
And it is going to take a few months to sort out ? Yeh, well robbing more people of more money is always a plus to a scum company, so it pretty much goes without saying that its all down to apple anyway, and they are just gonna rob people for as long as they can get away with it
Which? filed the complaint in 2004, so far its been going on for 4 years, musta earnt quite a darn lot as well

You can't escape the fact that the music industry in the UK actually does charge more for licensing than their counterparts in many other parts of Europe.

While I'm not a huge fan of their 'lock-in' practices, particularly when it comes to their hardware, no-one is forcing anyone to buy their products and services. Vote with your feet. There are alternatives, but the fact that Apple dominates many areas and is gaining market share in others suggests that either they're doing something right or that people complain but buy their stuff anyway. Who's fault is that?

It's reported on quite a few other sites, BBC for instance: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7178651.stm

It still sucks that downloading an album costs more or close to buying a CD which you can rip to a DECENT quality without DRM etc.
Amazon's download service is better for this reason alone, wake up iTunes, you're killing music

Exosphere said,
It still sucks that downloading an album costs more or close to buying a CD which you can rip to a DECENT quality without DRM etc.
Amazon's download service is better for this reason alone, wake up iTunes, you're killing music ;)

You can get 2 million tracks without DRM from the iTunes Store at CD quality (256 kbps AAC).