2022-10-01 08:54:25
third degree price discrimination on iTunes (or something more) market data/middlemen/music/this is bad

Now this is insane and clearly against the interest of the artists.

The insanely great songs Apple won’t let you hear. – By Paul Collins – Slate Magazine

JAPAN SALES ONLY

“Killer Tune” is just that: It sounds like the Killers, and it is killer. It’s one of the most popular iTunes downloads for the band Straightener—but you haven’t heard it.

You can’t hear it.

The iTunes Music Store has a secret hiding in plain sight: Log out of your home account in the page’s upper-right corner, switch the country setting at the bottom of the page to Japan, and you’re dropped down a rabbit hole into a wonderland of great Japanese bands that you’ve never even heard of. And they’re nowhere to be found on iTunes U.S. You can listen to 30-second song teasers on the Japanese site, but if you try purchasing “Killer Tune”—or any other tune—from iTunes Japan with your U.S. credit card, you’ll get turned away: Your gaijin money’s no good there.

And there are 20 more countries where iTunes users can lurk among
the samples, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, and
Australia. They won’t let you buy their songs, either. You can find an
EP of Scottish sensations the Fratellis at iTunes United States, for
instance, but their hit glam singalong “Chelsea Dagger” is in nearly
every country except the United States. (Their randy burlesque video for it, naturally, is all over YouTube.)

Even
so, window-shopping in the Japan store remains particularly
instructive. Why? Because variable pricing—a label demand that Apple
loudly and successfully fought off
in other countries—has quietly appeared there in the form of 150- and
200-yen songs. Whether “Killer Tune” gets the success it deserves or
not, someday we might all be turning Japanese.

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