Daily Archives: February 11, 2010

Sade, Charlie Pride, and the mystery of the 69 cent song on iTunes

Sade has a new album out, Soldier of Love, and all of the songs are priced at $1.29 on iTunes. That  appears to be the premium price. I am a big fan of hers, going back to the 1980s, and since she doesn’t have a lot of other albums out, I decided to look at her other albums available on iTunes. Of the ten albums and dozens of songs available, a number of the biggest hits are $1.29, but most of them are $0.99. This is not surprising. What is surprising is two songs:

Tar Baby from her second album, Promise and Immigrant from Lovers Rock, are the only two songs priced below are $0.99, at 69 cents.

This got me thinking: why those two songs and those only? Could it be they sell signifigantly less? If so, why? Could it be their titles? If they don’t sell less, then why only these two songs? Why not other songs from other albums?And why 69 cents?

It’s a mystery to me. I’d love to here a good answer for it.

Speaking of songs less than 99 cents, I want to say that I am disappointed in iTunes pricing overall. When Steve Jobs talked about pricing songs above the 99 cent price point, he said there could also be songs for less. I thought that made perfect sense and was looking forward to it. Since then, though,  I have not seen too many songs priced less than the 99 cent price, and I would be willing to guess than far less than 1% of the songs in the entire iTunes catalog are less than 99 cents.  For example, I checked out two favourite of my mom’s: Harry Hibbs and Charlie Pride.Great artists in their own right, but I am willing to bet not the biggest sellers in the catalog. However, not one song off Harry Hibbs songs that I can see is less than 99 cents. To be fair, where I do see iTunes dropping the price is on entire albums. Both the best of Harry Hibbs and the best of Charlie Pride are very cheaply priced at 7.99 and 5.99. Indeed, if I randomly poke around, it appears that Apple wants you to buy albums, and you are more likely to get deals that way. (For example Eurythmics Boxed is $44.99, but it has 125 songs on it, which works out to around 36 cents / song).To me it looks like Apple abandoned the notion of cheaper individual songs.)

Still, I am curious about the 69 cent songs for Sade…

Lovers Rock by Sade – Download Lovers Rock on iTunes

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