iTunes Variable Pricing Live, More Countries Supported
As previously reported, Apple has deployed variable pricing on the iTunes App Store today. This means songs can be priced at $0.69, $0.99 or $1.29 based on the artists' popularity.
True to supply-and-demand economics, the price of music downloads will be geared to the artist's popularity. Releases from new artists would receive the lower pricing, while tracks from popular acts would get slapped with the higher rate. Even classics, such as Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA," could retail for the higher price. Most of the 10 million songs in the iTunes catalog are expected to remain at 99 cents.
Apple announced this plan at Macworld San Francisco. The record labels have long requested variable pricing and, in exchange, Apple has been allowed to transition all their music content to DRM-free (no copy protection).
In addition, it appears Apple has greatly expanded the countries that iTunes now supports (screenshot).