A few things coming out of the U.K. lately indicate that online music is the future. Of course, there's the Beatle announcement, but more interesting is the surprise success of Gnarls Barkley, who achieved a Number One hit through download sales alone:
“Recent successes from Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz and the Arctic Monkeys show how digital can be complementary to physical,” said Jamieson. “The lesson of history is that new technology expands the market for music and that is why record companies are so enthusiastically embracing the new digital formats.”
The Monkeys broke out via lots of downloads, the Gorillaz aren't even a physical band (although they recently played live in NYC). With all of this in mind, I'm glad iTunes is holding firm to their pricing model.