BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
January 27, 2010 - 12:58AM
Apple announces a record quarterly profit - but how much of that comes from ripping off Australian iTunes customers?

IT gadget company Apple singled out the Australian market for an honourable mention (earlier report) while announcing its record quarterly profit of $3.8 billion. A pat on the head for our increasing i-with-everything habit is the least we should expect given the on-going iTunes rip off.

With Apple to announce another major i-product tonight – a “slate” e-book reader/video viewer/iTV/web watcher/personal vibrator/whatever – Australia's love affair with the brand continues to lock customers into Apple software.

And the cost of that is nowhere more obvious than the massive iTunes store, the world's biggest digital music shop which routinely charges Australians 40 per cent and more than it does Americans. And that's after allowing for the addition of the 10 per cent GST to the American prices.

Even for something as universal as the Hope For Haiti Now fund raiser album, Apple charges Americans just US$7.99. With the current dip in our exchange rate to about 90.5 US cents, that's $8.83 in local coin. Adding GST would make it $9.71, but Apple slogs Australians $13.99 for the thing – a 44 per cent mark-up on the US price. Or 44 per cent rip off, depending on your point of view.

For eight out of the top 10 on the iTunes US singles chart yesterday, Apple was charging Americans US$1.29 a download – the equivalent of A$1.57 after adding GST. Meanwhile the Australian iTunes site was charging $2.19 per download for most of its top 10 singles. Tasty.

The rip-off isn't as bad for many album prices, getting down as low as 17 per cent for a representative example that's on the Top 10 there, Melody Gardot's My One and Only Thrill. It downloads for US$11.99 on the American site, the equivalent of $14.58 with GST. On Australian iTunes, it's $16.99.

But the mark-up ratchets higher when the Australian dollar firms – Apple choosing to pocket the windfall and raise a middle digit to its local customers.

How do they get away with it? Because they can, because there's not much competition here, unlike the US. Little wonder many individuals feel no guilt about downloading music from pirate sources for free when iTunes, the dominant supplier, is taking advantage of them.

It's not so easy for iTunes in the US where it faces very stiff competition from Amazon and Wal-Mart. Even there, it relies on the stickiness and loyalty of the i-faithful to hug the brand and pay more for the fuzzy feeling.

For example, iTunes' US$11.99 Gardot example can be downloaded from Wal-Mart for US$9 or from Amazon for just US$7.99. The average single download form Wal-Mart is 94 US cents.

Australian music lovers and would-be buyers can only wish – both of those alternatives are only available to Americans. Makes you wonder what we're getting for our free-trade agreement and where the physical parallel music imports freedom disappears to when CDs are turned into MP3s.

Domestically, iTunes has a little legal competition. Telstra BigPond typically undercuts iTunes' $16.99 album price, for example, offering Gardot for $14.85 for BigPond customers and $16.50 for other customers of other ISPs. That's good for the mainstream, but BigPond lacks the range and depth iTunes can muster.

Lest anyone mistakenly think I've used the Gardot warble out of fondness, I comparison-shopped a couple of vastly more desirable albums. Sonny Criss' superb alto sax on Criss Craft (Blues in My Heart and All Night Long are must-hears) and, as a bedrock classic, Ella Fitzgerald's Cole Porter songbook.

Amazon has Criss Craft for US$9.49, American iTunes for US$11.99, Australian iTunes $20.99. BigPond doesn't stock it.

You can hear Ella's first volume of Cole for US$9.49 from Amazon if July 4 is your national day or US$9.99 from iTunes with the same condition. The double-volume set is US$19.99 on iTunes. And this is one example where the Australian iTunes does well, the double set downloadable for $22.99. BigPond? It has 59 Ella albums, but not the Cole Porter songbook.

Oh well, you might think it's American anyway. But iTunes offers The Art of Lounge by Sydney's Janet Seidel Trio for US$7.99 to Americans and charges us $13.99. Fortunately, she's worth it. Even better, catch her live and pay $20 for a CD with your name written on it. Some things can't be downloaded.

Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contribut-ing editor who suffered a touch of nationalism in the face of a multina-tional on Australia Day.

Source: theage.com.au
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Wow, we get ripped in AUS, tell us something we don't know LOL ...
Just thought this was a interesting article for any Itunes customers in Australia for something that is a digital based product and has no transport costs ect ect...

Sure I can understand been overcharged on things like Car parts or what ever becuase of trasnport costs ect ect
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,007 Posts
Don't get me wrong , I wasn't saying it was a pointless post
I mean I'm typing in my iPhone right now lol... So I'm one of the many customers getting ripped
but ye cars an most things in thr USA ull find are about a third of the price as they are in aus
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Who pays for music these days :p

I do hate how apply tries to make you use apple software for all their products. iTunes sucks no matter how you look at it.
Atleast there are lots of other programs available that mean you dont have to use iTunes for your ipod ect.
 

·
me
Joined
·
10,374 Posts
Who pays for music these days :p
Me!

I like to support the artists as without them I would have nothing to listen too, they just need to be paid more.

I also do not understand how a movie that costs a truck load more to make than a CD, sells for the same price. However thems the breaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
^ i think because they sell more copies of movies vs albums + you have all the revenue from cinema realeses.
So its a good steady flow. Cinema release all over the worlds then 6months later DVD release and you get the same people paying for the dvd + others who waited for the dvd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Who pays for music these days :p

I do hate how apply tries to make you use apple software for all their products. iTunes sucks no matter how you look at it.
Atleast there are lots of other programs available that mean you dont have to use iTunes for your ipod ect.
Anyone who actually likes to listen to music.
Rather than the trash people spend money on that has been degraded by compression to something that hardly resembles the original recording.

Uncompressed CD audio FTW!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Just thought this was a interesting article for any Itunes customers in Australia for something that is a digital based product and has no transport costs ect ect...

Sure I can understand been overcharged on things like Car parts or what ever becuase of trasnport costs ect ect
Not defending them, but it's not as clear cut as the article presents.
There is everychance that iTunes in Australia seeked to implement standard pricing for this market, like they do in the US. Imagine the outcry there would be if we had to pay for tracks in USD, we'd be paying much more given the fee's our credit card suppliers would charge us for FX translation & so on. Not to mention the annoyance of rapidly varying prices each & every minute of the day in terms of our local currency.

Also who is in a position to say that Apple actually converted every cent of the FX benefit directly into profit? They may have a policy of hedging future revenue via cross currency swaps and the like? Money still has a transport cost & a lot of companies will pay a premium to remove the risk posed to their future earnings from factors such as FX & Interest Rates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Anyone who actually likes to listen to music.
Rather than the trash people spend money on that has been degraded by compression to something that hardly resembles the original recording.

Uncompressed CD audio FTW!
Its a joke, plus there is always uncompressed flacc audio copies.
CDs are way too much effort these days - could not go back to listing one cd at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Its a joke, plus there is always uncompressed flacc audio copies.
CDs are way too much effort these days - could not go back to listing one cd at a time.
Flac is a form of compression.

CD's a great, but if you don't want to use them there is always Network Audio solutions available where you can rip your collection, uncompressed in lossless and run it through a media server, which is what i'm running at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
yeah our home set up is great. I have lots of music & vids on my computer which can be streamed across the entire house via ps3.
Even my dad knows how to use a ps3 to stream movies which is amazing because hes terrible at almost all tech lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Me!

I like to support the artists as without them I would have nothing to listen too, they just need to be paid more.
P Diddy, 50 cent and Akon look like they are struggling ;)

I got an iphone, but dont pay for music, as when i was young i use to spend all my spare $$$ on CD's ! well its payback time ! :lmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
yeah our home set up is great. I have lots of music & vids on my computer which can be streamed across the entire house via ps3.
Even my dad knows how to use a ps3 to stream movies which is amazing because hes terrible at almost all tech lol
its official , PS3 has been hacked !
 

·
me
Joined
·
10,374 Posts
P Diddy, 50 cent and Akon look like they are struggling ;)

I got an iphone, but dont pay for music, as when i was young i use to spend all my spare $$$ on CD's ! well its payback time ! :lmao:
I guess it is more endorsements and smart investing moreso than income from the music companies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top