Save money, live better? Sort of. Wal-Mart raised prices for downloading MP3 songs, but they’re still cheaper than Apple’s iTunes and Amazon.com
You’ll now pay $1.24, 94 cents and 64 cents for downloads from the giant retailer, up from 74 cents and 94 cents. As is the case with iTunes and Amazon.com, the songs are not hindered by digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, meaning it’s legal to download songs to a variety of MP3 players and PCs.
All three companies said they have been forced to increase MP3 song downloads following pressure from Sony, Universal Music Group, Warner Music, EMI and Disney.
Wal-Mart’s strategy also means that it can now get a bigger slice of the MP3 song market, but at the same time effectively compete with iTunes and Amazon.com by offering lower prices.
On Tuesday, Apple upped prices for songs to $1.29, 99 cents and 69 cents, up from 99 cents for all songs. Of course, the most expensive tunes command the top price, while obscure songs from the virtual bargain bin are considerably cheaper.
Not to be left out, Amazon.com followed suit and hiked its prices in three tiers: $1.29, 89 cents and 69 cents.
iTunes’ price tiers seem straightforward—you’ll pay $1.29 for bestselling songs. Amazon.com’s are a mix and match—most best-sellers, including the No.1 song, are 99 cents, but further down the chart the price increases to $1.29 for some songs. Wal-Mart’s pricing tier is also confusing—its top 15 songs are 94 cents save for the No. 5 song by Kelly Clarkson, at $1.24.