AmazonMP3 Follows Suit… $1.29 Pricing Spreads

The dominant iTunes Store sets the tone for the paid download space, a field that includes Napster, Rhapsody, and AmazonMP3.

Already, a shift towards variable pricing on iTunes is rippling across the sector, and causing at least one early shift.  A quick gander onto AmazonMP3 reveals more than few $1.29 downloads, a change first noticed by C|Net journalist Matt Rosoff.

Thanks to Apple, Amazon and its competitors are now faced with higher wholesale costs, a shift that forces higher pricing.  The end result is quite predictable, especially considering the razor-thin margins that paid downloads afford.   But at least one competitor – eMusic – has flatly refused to elevate its payment structure, one that bundles download allocations into monthly subscription charges.  Then again, eMusic mostly sells songs from independent labels, a group that has show more willingness to accept lower price points.