Things like this happen in three stages: 1) You find out it’s going to happen. 2) You curse Apple. 3) You accept the fact that Apple is king when it comes to making money and cough up the extra cash. Masked as part of a trade off with major labels to facilitate DRM-free iTunes tracks, Apple announced back in January that it would introduce a new variable pricing structure where tracks would be $0.69, $0.99 or $1.29 depending on popularity. Today, the new tiered pricing has gone live. As you can see above, it apparently doesn’t take much for some tracks to hit the $1.29 price point — track two has its popularity indicator just over half full and it’s already there. For some however, the new pricing model could be a good thing. The super cool loners among you who are into niche genres like uber-unsing-emo-screamo-core, may find your monthly iTunes bills dropping thanks to the new $0.69 tier for less popular music. Good luck though; even the most obscure bands and tracks we dug up in a few minutes of searching were listed at $0.99 despite having no bars in the popularity column. Anyone find a $0.69 track? Let us know in the comments section.

Thanks, James!

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than a decade, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.