October 26, 2004 2:54 PM PDT

Apple's U2 'box set' a sign of shifting music pricing?

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October 26, 2004
It may be a small, $149 step, but Apple Computer's introduction of a U2 "digital box set"--a downloadable compilation of every song the band has ever recorded--could portend a shift in online-music pricing.

Since the launch of Apple's iTunes store in April 2003, the price of digital music has gravitated, with few exceptions, to 99 cents per song, following the Mac maker's unwavering lead. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been adamant that a consistent price is important to help consumers understand the new world of online music.

But even as they have been pleased with Apples' iTunes successes, record label executives have chafed at the fixed prices. They're used to the retail world, where some albums can be priced higher than average, and some lower, in order to take advantage of demand.

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