Count­ing the cost

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

I am some­what amazed at how we Ap­ple users in the UK ap­pear to suf­fer with a unique cur­rency con­ver­sion rate with the US. In the USA, the cost of an Ap­ple Mu­sic sub­scrip­tion is just $9.99/month, but over here it’s £9.99/ month. Given that the cur­rent rate of ex­change is around US $1.57 to the pound, we are be­ing charged over a third more! Does this mean we are giv­ing a higher per­cent­age to the mu­si­cians than those across the pond?

I asked at our lo­cal Ap­ple Store if they had any in­sight to this and the re­ply I re­ceived was “that’s a great ques­tion – per­haps it’s the tax” and another sim­ply gave me the re­sponse “well it’s still a great deal”. When it comes to buy­ing hard­ware I can un­der­stand it, but when it’s sim­ply a ser­vice us­ing the same servers how can this be jus­ti­fied? John Deane Paul Blach­ford says: Ap­ple’s not unique in this prac­tice by any means. There’s a long-held per­cep­tion that, com­pared with our transat­lantic cousins, we pay a pre­mium for var­i­ous goods in the UK. Elec­tron­ics are of­ten the worst of­fend­ers by a long way. Part of the rea­son is in­deed that we pay more base tax in the UK than the US.

When it comes to soft­ware se­vices, you’d think there might be a dif­fer­ence but it can be the same story. For ex­am­ple, Adobe’s Cre­ative Cloud costs around 30% more an­nu­ally in the UK. Ap­ple Mu­sic is fol­low­ing the same pat­tern adopted by oth­ers – in fact, it costs ex­actly the same as Spo­tify. It’s not great, but isn’t go­ing to be chang­ing any time soon. Also, bear in mind that roy­alty agree­ments with la­bels might dif­fer be­tween re­gions.

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