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What Recession? iTunes Hiking Its Prices Come April 7

Who's going to save the music industry from itself? Certainly not Douglas Merrill, who found himself on the receiving end of a rose-colored slip from his bosses at the giant music conglomerate EMI earlier this week. While the industry kicks up its heels and straight up chillaxes until the year 2013 (when CDs officially become obsolete), some collective of Rhodes Scholars figured that now, while the country is mired in its worst economic state since the thirties, was as good a time as any to raise the price point for "many hit singles and classic tracks" on iTunes. Yes, that's right, beginning April 7, it will now cost baby boomers and their preteen children $1.29 to download the latest single by Flo Rida, an increase of 30 cents from today's current price point of $0.99. Naturally, people have mixed feelings about this.

And by mixed feelings, we really mean not so mixed at all. The Los Angeles Times couldn't find a single soul to go on the record defending the new "variable-pricing" strategy. Not surprisingly, though, people were crawling out of the woodwork to blast the move:

"This will be a PR nightmare," predicted former EMI Music executive Ted Cohen, who is managing partner of digital media consulting firm TAG Strategic. "It is for the music industry what the AIG bonuses are for the insurance industry."


In Apple's defense, though, the new pricing plan does come with one perk — no more DRM. You know, just like all the MP3s on the rest of the Internet that you have been stealing sampling all these years. Nice try, record industry: One of these days you're bound to do something right!

Hottest tracks to cost $1.29 at iTunes starting April 7 [LAT]