AAPL Stock: 118.3 ( + 0.49 )

Printed from

Microsoft sees music subscriptions as the future

updated 09:25 am EDT, Fri July 16, 2004

MS bets on music subs

Microsoft is betting that the subscription model for online music purchases, and new players it plans to roll out that support subscription downloads, will trump a la carte music stores. (paid subscription required) notes that proponents of Microsoft's model point out that for just $10 or $20 a month, subscribers will be able to fill up their entire digital player with music, as opposed to the $10,000 or so it would take in iTunes Music Store purchases to fill the 40GB iPod. Microsoft's approach was reportedly a tough sell to record labels at first, but the company pointed out that the average music listener spend $4.66 on music each month, and that subscription services will accordingly generate more money with their monthly fees. When a subscriber stops paying for the service, they lose access to all the music they have downloaded.

by MacNN Staff




  1. buffalolee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No subscriptions!

    Let's see.....$120 - $240 /year to borrow all the music I want. Then when I stop subscribing, I lose it all.

    Or....120 songs that I listen to the most, and keep for the rest of my life.

    I would rather purchase because I don't have the time to download 10,000 songs and listen to them at the same time.

  1. koolkid1976

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think it's worth it

    I'll spend $10 for the month and spend the next 30 days downoading 10,000 music. And then I'll spend the rest of my life paying $10 a month just so I can keep the music. Wait, something isn't right here. Did I miss something?

  1. slipperfrog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well it's simple...

    Download all the music you want, then download one of the inevitable crackers which will appear to remove the protection.

    As for me, I'm going to keep on buying (used) CDs. I'm not going to "rent" my music and I'm not going to pay *anyone* (Apple included) full price for inferior, lossy compressed copies of it. I'm not stupid (well, not entirely at least).

  1. henryblackman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    For some people subscriptions might be a good idea; people that buy a lot of music, more than $20 a month; people that change music tastes rapidly; people that don't mind paying $20 a month!

    We are already willing to pay whatever for cable and DSL, but are we willing to pay for something that is considered a one off purchase? Maybe some of us, but not all of us.

  1. JacquesDav

    Joined: Dec 1969



    To be perfectly honest the price, at first, seems quite reasonable, around $5 a month for all the tunes you can eat! However, where they seem to have made a critical error is in the failure to understand the purchasing habits of their target market. Imagine opting for a music downloading service that stipulates that once your subscription lapses or expires, all the music on your computer and mp3 player becomes unplayable.. I hardly think I'd have purchased any of the hundreds of CDs and vinyl in my collection had I known that they'd stop being playable once I stopped paying royalties. The vast majoirty of the music downloading market are young and on the move, from school, to home, to summer jobs, to new apartments, often not in the same city, and thus not always connected, and certainly not to the same ISP for very long periods of time. The deal may appear to be bargain, but the practicalities of the service, for the audience they hope to reach, will prove to be very unpopular and I suspect they might have to modify it before too long.

    If I pay for music, I expect the license to be valid for the entire time I physically possess the work.

    Good idea, bad execution. Someone really didn't think this one through in Redmond.

  1. ronboor

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Burn to CD?

    You mean I can download all the songs I want, but I can't burn any to a cd or load them to a mp3 player. If they are on a mp3 player how do I lose them when I stop paying the "rental" fee? And don't tell me if I download 10,000 songs I won't find some way to crack their scheme to keep what I got. Gimme a break!!

  1. dave a

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Perhaps you misunderstand

    The goal is not music. It's to break the Apple Music Store and the iPod because they don't use the Windows Media Format. MS doesn't give a fig about music; they care about keeping their monopoly. If every music player uses Windows Media, who's going to buy a Mac or use Linux?

    They have the money to subsidize a losing music venture indefinitely. h***, they could buy everyone in the US a new computer and not lose money...

  1. gdsgds

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very cool

    quote "When a subscriber stops paying for the service, they lose access to all the music they have downloaded".

    That's probably the MSFT way of doing things. If you stop to pay, you don't get anything... Take your music collection and imagine that you cannot listen to it anymore.

  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $4.66 a month

    So, the average music listener spends $4.66 a month, and this service costs $10/month. So, basically, Microsoft is asking us to pay more than twice what we normally would, and talking about how great this is.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Subscription Service?!

    Those have been around for a long time now and they haven't been all that successful to this point.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented