Billboard's crack scientists conducted a quick study on a mysterious new phenomenon: More expensive $1.29 songs on iTunes are becoming less popular! (Actually, the results will surprise you.)
One day after the price jump, there were 40 $US1.29 songs in the Top 100, and 60 at 99 US cents. The $US1.29 songs fell an average of 5.3 places, while 99 US cent songs moved up 2.5 places on average. The total average chart drop of pricier songs since the prices went up is about three places. Which sounds like the masses punishing the greedy labels, but it's not—greed wins:
For a price increase (to $US1.29 from $US0.99) to result in an equal or greater amount of revenue, unit sales would to drop by no less than 23.3%. On the most recent track download chart, the different between #42 and #45 was only 3.5%. One has to move up to #6 on the chart to get to a difference greater than 23.3%. The difference between the #6 and the #3 chart positions equals a 30% drop in unit sales while the difference between #7 and #4 is a 19% drop in unit sales.
We tried voting with our dollar, and our dollar stabbed us in the back. [Billboard]