NEW YORK – Apple's iTunes Store isn't the only one that has adjusted prices for its digital song downloads recently: Changes are showing up at Amazon's and Wal-Mart's online music stores, too.
Apple Inc., the dominant digital music retailer on the Internet, shifted Tuesday from selling all songs for 99 cents apiece to a tiered pricing model where songs cost 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29 each. Recording companies are choosing the prices.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also eliminated the copy-protection technology that limited users' abilities to copy and play songs on devices other than Apple's own iPods.
On the same day Apple made its changes, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s online music store began selling tunes for $1.24, 94 cents and 64 cents apiece. Previously, they cost 74 cents and 94 cents apiece.
In an e-mail, Walmart.com spokesman Ravi Jariwala said the pricing adjustments are "reflective of new costs set by the music industry."
Elsewhere on the Web, Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is also selling individual song downloads for as much as $1.29. Most songs currently cost $1.29, 99 cents, 89 cents or 69 cents each. Amazon did not say when it began selling songs for $1.29; when the store first opened in September 2007, songs sold for 89 cents and 99 cents.
Wal-Mart and Amazon downloads had already been free of copy protection.