Growing consumer outrage at digital distribution mark-ups

CONSUMERS are railing against price premiums of up to 88 per cent for downloading electronic games, software, books and music as the Federal Government tackles international price discrimination.

We're used to paying more for everything in Australia, but when it comes to digital distribution, there is no reason why are we should be paying so much more. Take the iTunes store for example:

  • New release movies are $14.99 in the US store and we pay $24.99 here in Australia.
  • Albums are $9.99 in the US store and we pay $16.99 here in Australia.

Remember that if you are going to compare apples to apples, you have to take the GST off the Australian price. In the US, sales tax isn't  included in the advertised price but added on at the point of sale.

Where this gets interesting is that Apps in the iOS and Mac App stores are priced perfectly in line with the US store and have come down as the Australian dollar has gone up. Just like with Apps, the prices for music and movies are set by the content owners, not Apple. This is a local problem and I am surprised that it has been allowed to go on this long.

At the time I write this article, the Australian dollar is worth US$1.05.