iTunes rivals push subscription model

Subscription music model

Many of Apple's digital music rivals are rather than the pay-per-song model offered by the iTunes Music Store: "Chris Gorog is convinced that people won't continue to pay $1 a song for online music.That is despite Apple's string of recent achievements, including 200 million songs sold at its iTunes Music Store, and nearly 4 million iPod digital music players moved into consumers' homes in 2004. Gorog runs Apple rival Napster, which offers digital downloads and a music subscription deal. Consumers get unlimited access to listen to 700,000 songs for $9.95 monthly. The hitch is that to move songs onto a portable digital device or to a CD costs extra: $1 a song. That's one of the reasons digital music fans have not taken to the subscription model -- also offered by Real Networks' Rhapsody -- in a big way. But Gorog thinks that will change next year. And he has other heavyweights such as Yahoo and Microsoft in his corner."

  1. phillymjs 01/03, 08:30am

    People like the idea of ownership, period. These guys are nuts if they think the majority of people will want to pay a monthly subscription and have all their purchased music evaporate when they cancel that subscription.

    These services pushing subscriptions complain about Apple's lock-in with the iPod and iTMS, when they're trying to lock customers in as well, just in a different way.

  1. vickys-box 01/03, 08:35am

    Gorog thinks subscriptions work because they're the only way to make money. What Gorog, and pretty much everyone else doesn't realise is that the iTMS is essentially a PR tool for Apple. Apple doesn't care if they make virtually nothing out of the iTMS. It's more important to keep the Apple brand, ease-of-use etc. in the public arena.

  1. Will C 01/03, 08:40am

    Well he would say that would'nt he

  1. horvatic 01/03, 08:58am

    Like I have said many times I DON"T WANT TO RENT MY MUSIC! Why should I pay for streaming music when it's FREE! Steve Jobs said it before and I totally agree with him that I want to own my music so I can do what I want with it. The only way a subscription model would work is if the monthly charge included unlimited downloads. You know that will never happen. iTunes model has the competition beat!

  1. mjtomlin 01/03, 09:01am

    Hello!? Are these people stupid? The subscription model has already failed. Before iTunes, just about all of them were subscription based services and they all did miserably (also, none of them worked with Macs and probably still won't).

    All these people are hoping that they can spread their propaganda and some consumers will take the bait now that Apple has made legal music downloading as popular as it is.

    One other thing to note... What a pain in the a** it would be to have to look through a million songs for one that you feel like listening to at any particular moment! I have 3000+ songs in my iTunes library and it already takes a while to build playlists. I couldn't imagine how much time I would spend looking through 700,000 songs!?!?

    Also, if you're going to pay a monthly fee, why not just get satellite radio... at least you can listening to it wherever you wanted and you're not tied to your PC.

  1. kloda 01/03, 09:19am

    Hmmm...Apple's model has been pretty darn successful and subscription based services haven't. Yeah, that's a strong indicator of it going to work in 2005.

    If I'm going to rent, it will be XM Radio (which I already do for my car). I like iTMS because I buy the song. Since I got XM Radio, I've been buying a lot more songs via iTMS. But XM Radio subscription is different from Real Music or Microsoft's service.

    I just love some of these "analysts."

  1. Okonomiyaki 01/03, 10:10am

    Just wait! Everything will be different in 2005. Whatever didn't work in 2004 or earlier will magically be super successful in 2005 because, get this, it's a whole new year!

  1. Kees 01/03, 10:28am

    basically, I get to pay $10,- a month to preview music, and whenever there's something I like, I get to pay another buck/song?
    I'll stick with iTunes, thx very much.

  1. evansls 01/03, 10:29am

    i pay the 10 bucks a month with rhapsody and then rip the high quality stream if i find something i like. it's what i used to do with my stereo back in the day, but the difference is my radio plays what i want when i want! if apple had it's own subscription, i would dump rhapsody in a heartbeat - but that doesn't mean apple would lose business per se, because what i'm doing is considered a power user feature - something that you must go out of your way to teach yourself and follow through. i also use apple itunes to buy music i can't find anything where else.

  1. benhur 01/03, 10:32am

    have a subscription model. Subscription models did not work but Apple's take on it would obviously be much better. I honestly don't care whether I own it or not. i just want to listen to music. It's the same with the FM tuner that's lacking on the iPod. There are some good independent/underground radio stations out there and I enjoy listening to them, don't care if I "own" the song or not.

    The competition will try to differentiate themselves from Apple, sure, but some of the ideas arent' bad. Why not have the best of all worlds, download to own, subscription, and an FM tuner. Somebody's gonna do it, it might as well be Apple.

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