The Onion has spoken on the subject of online music stores:
I can't believe the idiots at the labels are talking about RAISING their prices:
- iTunes has been hailed as the first successful online music store, with over 50 million songs downloaded. Its success has been due largely to Apple's powerful name, the iPod, flexible use of the tracks, and the 99 cent-price per song or $9.99 for an album. More than that, it has been celebrated as a sign of things to come for an industry still in its infancy.
Despite iTunes' success and the growing success of other services, the record industry still isn't happy; it thinks that 99 cents a song is too cheap, and the five major labels (Universal Music Group, EMI, BMG, Sony and Warner Music) are discussing a price hike ranging from $1.25 to an eye-gouging $2.49 per song.
At that price, downloading music will become far more expensive than buying CDs, which would practically destroy the online music market.
This is counter to everything the record companies should be doing. If anything, they should be cutting prices to make it more attractive to download music legally. Instead, this move will push online music junkies back into the world of file sharing. After all, who wants to pay more for less?
Moreover, simply buying the physical CD would be more logical than downloading it at the proposed price rates. Actually, buying a CD makes more sense than downloading it as an album from iTunes anyway. You might pay a couple bucks more, but that extra money buys pretty packaging, better sound quality, often some sort of video extra and, significantly, use unrestricted by Digital Rights Management (DRM). You can rip it and burn it as much as you want. Who wouldn't choose the CD over an iTunes album? [Washington Square News]
And that's kind of the Onion's point.