Apple Blames High Australian Markups for Digital Content on Media Rights Holders

At an Australian Parliament inquiry into high markups on technology goods and services today, Apple Australia Vice President Tony King blamed rights holders for international price disparities in the company's digital content, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

"The pricing of this digital content is based on the wholesale prices which are set through negotiated contracts with the record labels, movie studios and TV networks," said Mr King, who is Apple's vice president for Australia, New Zealand and South Asia.

King went on to say that "the content industry still runs with perhaps old-fashioned notions of country borders or territories or markets" and that it creates confusion for customers. He also said that Apple's iTunes pricing in Australia is "comparable to other Australian physical and online stores."

When asked by Labor MP Ed Husic, who is a member of the committee conducting the inquiry, whether Apple could influence the price of digital content in Australia, King said that it was up to the rights holders. King also said that Apple would love to see "cheaper, lower prices in the Australian market," according to News.com.au.

australianmarkup
Earlier today, MacStories noted that markups in Australia average as much as 61.4% for music, 33.5% for movies and 25.9% for TV shows when a subset of content offerings is compared to prices in the United States once Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been accounted for. Markups for Apple's hardware products are more reasonable, with Mac, iPad and iPod prices in Australia generally falling within 10% of U.S. prices. The iPhone line, however, can go as high as a 16% markup for the iPhone 5 and 4S, while the iPhone 4 is actually slightly cheaper in Australia than it is in the United States.

King said that Apple had gone to great lengths to make sure that its hardware products are priced at "parity" in Australia, which takes into account Australian GST as well as the cost of delivering its products to the country.

Adobe and Microsoft were also questioned as part of the inquiry following summonses being issued last month, with Adobe explaining that it charges Australian customers $1000 extra for a software suite because users are receiving a "personalized" service on their local website. Microsoft said its prices, which include a $2000 increase for a software suite, were based on market competition and that users would vote with their wallets if they didn't agree.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
96 months ago
Apple's response sounds about right, and seems to be reflected in the percentage markups; that is, there's not an across-the-board markup for all content, making it believable that music rights holders have different demands from movies or TV shows.

Adobe and Microsoft's responses are complete ass. Show me the "personalized service on their local website". And let me trade it in for the extra $1000 I'm outlaying for the privilege of that non-existent service, since I'd rather have the cash. Microsoft's is simply that people are paying it, so they can charge it. Which is true, but still ass-worthy.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago
I'm sick of the content industry holding the world to ransom. It's almost our duty to display civil disobedience (read downloads) to force them into alternative models.

People will pay a reasonable fee for good content if the model is done right. Piracy for music has tailed away since the rise of Spotify et al. It's about time the TV and film industry moved to similar offerings.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago
Obviously the 61.4% price markup indicates to me their negotiations for Australia were pretty poor. Maybe they should renegotiate and get this resolved. Seems to me like price gouging at this rate.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

I'm sick of the content industry holding the world to ransom.

Ransom? :eek:

Don't buy it. You'll live - I promise.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

Apple's response sounds about right, and seems to be reflected in the percentage markups; that is, there's not an across-the-board markup for all content, making it believable that music rights holders have different demands from movies or TV shows.

Adobe and Microsoft's responses are complete ass. Show me the "personalized service on their local website". And let me trade it in for the extra $1000 I'm outlaying for the privilege of that non-existent service, since I'd rather have the cash. Microsoft's is simply that people are paying it, so they can charge it. Which is true, but still ass-worthy.


Exact same thinking. Apple was more, "Don't look at me" while Microsoft and Adobe were "Pfff, cause we can, who else you gonna turn too?"
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

Surprise surprise, we are on an apple forum and apple couldn't possibly do anything wrong but everyone else has....

That's utter rubbish.

Look at the responses. Apple at least tried to explain or fob the blame off onto someone else with a semi-plausible excuse. Neither Adobe nor Microsoft, who are entirely in control of the prices of their products - since they actually make them - even bothered.
Look at the numbers. They're all jacked up on the music prices. Because everybody knows the music industry is desperate to keep prices low, so it must all be Apple.

Rubbish. Complete garbage from an Apple hipster.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...