Edgar Bronfman Jr, the CEO of Warner Music, wants Apple to charge 99 cents only for unpopular tracks. He wants to raise the prices on popular tracks. My cow-orker Fred von Lohmann writes,
What? Bronfman singing the praises of "variable pricing"?! Lest anyone forget, he was at the helm of Universal Music Group back when it (along with all the other major labels) was engaged in a scheme of price fixing aimed at keeping CD prices high.
And Bronfman apparently doesn't think that "variable pricing" might include lowering the price of some tracks below 99 cents. Said Bronfman, "Some songs should be $0.99 and some songs should be raising our wholesale prices and preventing people from discounting."
This was, of course, exactly the aim of the MAP price-fixing scheme that Bronfman's former label, Universal, was running in the late 90s.
In the age of P2P file sharing, raising your prices and alienating your best retailers (not to mention fans!) is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps Bronfman is not the best CEO for a record label trying to find its way into the 21st century.