Apple May Be Wrongly Accused Of Exploiting Singer’s Death

Apple iTunes is being accused by fans of Whitney Houston of raising prices on her music after her death. Many have taken to Twitter to voice their frustrations and charge that Apple is exploiting the singer’s death.

Tweets on the social networking site have included”

“I’m disgusted.”

“Whitney Houston’s greatest hits was £4.99 last night on iTunes. It’s now £7.99. Utterly disgraceful.”

“Apple completely exploiting the death of Houston by increasing the price of her albums. The corporate greed machine knows no bounds.”

“One would think you’d maybe run a special on Whitney’s music in remembrance. Apple decides to take the greed route.”

A website called Digital Spy, who ran a story about the increase and accusations of exploitation, is often referenced in these tweets.

But the blame on Apple may be seriously misplaced.

Apple does not set the prices on the music in iTunes. That is done by the record label, based on available pricing tiers. Apple receives a 30% cut on sales.

Whitney Houston was originally signed with Arista Records, which was founded by Clive Davis, who discovered her singing in a nightclub. Just last summer, Arista Records was folded into RCA Records. Some of Houston’s music was also released on the Jive Records label operated under RCA Records. RCA Records is owned by Sony Music Entertainment.

So when it comes to pricing, where does the buck stop? At this point in our investigation, it looks like Sony Music Entertainment. We have contacted Sony,and will update this story with their response.

At publication time, no response has been received from Sony.

—update– 2/13/2012, 11:43pm est —

Almost 24 hours after Sony was contacted and asked to comment on this story, they have not made a reply.

However, since our report, other sites have confirmed that Sony created the price hike by raising the wholesale price of one particular Whitney Houston album, “Ultimate Collection.” The album has since been returned to its original price – ed.

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