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Up to 8 million iTunes users would get subscription music

updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed July 14, 2010

NPD finds many iTunes users willing to stream

As many as eight million iTunes users would be willing to pay for a streaming service on iTunes, the NPD Group found on Wednesday. An estimated seven to eight million have a "strong interest" in paying $10 or more per month either to stream music in general or to have remote access to their existing iTunes collections across many devices. If access to an existing collection were free, as many as 13 million to 15 million would use it, the researchers said.

Any service would likely scale quickly as customers get more or better Internet-connected devices like the iPad or iPhone, NPD analysts said, but could generate a lot of revenue even in the short term. If all of the interested users paid into a $10 monthly service, Apple would make about $1 billion in the first 12 months, or about two thirds of its current pay-per-track model.

The predictions come from a polling of 3,862 iTunes users and wouldn't necessarily extrapolate in practice or persuade Apple to follow a similar business model. Rumors have still been intensifying that Apple may be about to instigate a push towards the cloud for many of its iTunes services, including not just traditional subscription streams but device-to-device sharing and 99-cent TV show rentals that would never have to be stored locally.

Apple has never discussed its plans, but the creation of a large North Carolina data center has hinted at far larger ambitions than it has shown in the past. Streaming subscriptions have been tried in the past by Rhapsody and others, usually with little success, but always-available music has become increasingly important as smartphones and now tablets have constant Internet connections but little storage. Google will allow remote access through Android phones and may have a streaming paid music service of its own.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Nope

    Can't believe that. As we all know, users want to own their music...

    And I recall back in the good ol' days when you could do remote streaming without having to pay anyone. Then Apple got all "OMG! The labels are mad! We need to turn this off!" and there it went.

  1. shreader

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    AT&T's hidden fee.w91t.com/ wi

    Don't forget the unlimited data plan is gone. To stream music 30 minutes a day will put you over the top of AT&T's max. The surcharge is going to be huge revenue for AT&T.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Yeah

    I won't be paying a recurring fee to stream my own library to my iPhone, and I couldn't care less about subscribing to a streaming-only service. I've been using Simplify Media for free to stream my music to my iPhone over the internet, and now that it's been bought by Google and shut down, I'll be looking to spend no more than a few bucks on a replacement for it. If indeed Apple is planning on supporting such a feature, they sure have been taking their sweet time with it.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    I envision the poll

    question going something like this:
    "If you could not get music any other way, would you sign up for a monthly rental service?"

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