Apple should punt on music subscriptions

Apple should punt on music subscriptions

Summary: In the run up to Let's Rock press event there were a lot of rumors that Apple was preparing to announce a music subscription service called iTunes Unlimited that would cost US$130 per year and would launch in October. Instead Apple announced new iPods and iTunes 8.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Mobility
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In the run up to Let's Rock press event there were a lot of rumors that Apple was preparing to announce a music subscription service called iTunes Unlimited that would cost US$130 per year and would launch in October. Instead Apple announced new iPods and iTunes 8.

Last week, Best Buy acquired Napster which along with RealNetwork's Rhapsody, represent the largest remaining players in the music subscription business.

I agree with CNet's Greg Sandoval that music subscriptions are a risky business. He notes that the Yahoo Unlimited subscription service was shuttered earlier this year and that the market is getting chewed up.

Maybe the subscription music market is just migrating to the carriers. CNET News reported Thursday that Sony Ericsson is prepping their own music service (reportedly with subscriptions) designed to compete with Nokia's "Comes with Music" initiative. Perhaps Apple considers itself more of a phone handset maker these days and feels compelled to stave off advances from Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

At the end of the day iTunes Unlimited is still just a rumor. Not to mention that most people, including myself, don't want to rent their music, as Steve Jobs has long maintained.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Mobility

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  • Yahoo failed because...

    1. They priced it too cheap in the beginning for their own good.

    2. THEN they raised prices, which pissed everyone off.

    3. The software was bloody HORRIBLE!

    4. The software became even more horrible as they screwed with it, version after version.

    I was a very happy YME user until all this happened, then I dumped them and went to Urge, which was fantastic, until Real bought them and screwed THAT whole thing up royally.
    BitTwiddler
  • Well, if there is money in it

    then why should Apple pass on the opportunity?
    GuidingLight
    • What money?

      It there was money in this type of business, why are there so many failed attempts to make money with it?? I don't think there is any money to be had here.
      todd.beaubien
      • RE: Apple should punt on music subscriptions

        @todd.beaubien@... Because none of them are pumping out monstrous amounts of FUD against the competition and generating their own ridiculously lame RDF (Reality Distortion Field) radiation energy crippling their foolish customer's deductive reasoning skills!<br><br>It's how CrApple competes. They simply don't! ...they buy their competition out, sue them to death or belittle and market their Supreme Aryan Arrogance to idiots who only know how to look like the JONES or be just another egg in the carton or worse........ in the end just another same o same pimp or hooker carrying a iPhone to hook up with clients!!! lol...<br><br>In the end..... iPlatform devices will just be the Pink Cadillac Convertibles of the 50's and 60's. Tops don't work, windows won't roll down and they sit abandoned in junk yards like old slow Bondi Blue iMacs are now. Many Windows 98 machines still running from that era!!! ...and faster too!!!

        btw.... hell.... haha... I used to feel sorry for CrApple's barren customerless displays in store. Still feel sorry for the hoodwinked zombietised customers jonesing on empty promises to actually be capable of doing what you buy an iPhone for..... making calls for iFad actually surfing the full web (can't be done without empty holes for FLASH... lol)!!! :D
        i2fun
  • jobs is right

    no one wants to rent music. they either want to buy it
    or steal it, there's no in-between.
    lostarchitect
    • LOL

      You do know that when you "buy" music you don't really "own" it, right?

      Believe me, as someone that have used both pay-per-song and subscription, I will never go back to pay-per-song again. Ever. I have too many songs on my player that would cost me a fortune if I had to pay for each song (more than 700 songs in one go for every single Rolling Stones song ever recorded. Try [b]that[/b] on your iPod. Ouch!). And subscriptions allow me to truly download lots of songs so that I can see if I like them, rather than having to hope I like them and paying for each one up front.

      Oh, and people usually forget that pretty much all subscription services also allows you to "buy" the song in addition to the subscription, so that those that feel they need to "own" the song can do so. You know, we have a [b]choice[/b], something Apple feels you don't need to have. Yet somehow we are supposed to be worse off than a strictly pay-per-song service. Go figure!

      But don't worry, one of these days Apple will "invent" subscription services after which all you guys would tell us just how wonderful it is. Or that Apple will be doing it "right" or some other tripe.
      Qbt
  • Rhapsody on iPod

    I tried to avoid the iPod by using a Creative Zen Vision M and Rhapsody. The problem is once the Rhapsody to Go files get larger than 20 GB there are huge issues in synchronizing content and DRM management. After two years of dealing with Rhapsody and their inferior tech support, and trying Media Monkey and other assorted fixes, I cancelled my subscription, sold my Zen and bought an iPod. If I had to do it over again, the time I wasted with Rhapsody was about the same amount of time to rip my 400+ CD collection to the PC, where I can transfer the library to the iPod.
    swpro
  • A lot of music is disposable

    "At the end of the day iTunes Unlimited is still just
    a rumor. Not to mention that most people, including
    myself, don???t want to rent their music, as Steve Jobs
    has long maintained."

    I think we all have CDs in our collections that when
    we look at them now, we can't imagine there ever being
    a time where we thought we HAD to have it. Sure, there
    are songs you will listen to forever. But there are
    many more songs that I would like to listen to for a
    couple of weeks and then I'm over them.

    I would love an iTunes Unlimited service that could
    supplement my music collection on my iPhone/iPods with
    songs I won't want to have around forever.
    RationalGuy