Another iTunes Subscription Rumor

Dave Zatz —  March 19, 2008

I admit it. I’m lazy. Even though I’ve purchased and ripped hundreds of CDs (plus those DRM-encumbered iTunes), I still prefer someone else program my playlists. In fact I’m an iPhone owner who (mostly) forgos the audio iPod functions, opting instead for the (jailbreak) iRadio streaming application. Or my XM subscription via Helix or computer. And each time an iTunes music subscription service rumor arises I feel compelled to cover it. According to the Financial Times, there are two models under consideration:

One executive said the research had shown that consumers would pay a premium of up to $100 for unlimited access to music for the lifetime of the device, or a monthly fee of $7-$8 for a subscription model. Apple would not comment on the plan, but executives familiar with the negotiations said they hinged on a dispute over the price the computer maker would be willing to pay for access to the labels’ libraries.

I’d gladly pay more for a device or a monthly fee for unlimited tunes. Though, perhaps XM (or Sirius) is working on an iPhone app – making this a non-issue for me. (I have a feeling Mari’s lazy too – and is hopefully enjoying her new Slacker device.)

6 responses to Another iTunes Subscription Rumor

  1. Suspicious of any “life time” or “unlimited” statements from any company:

    “Life time” = until we say its over, even if it an actual lifetime has not elapsed.

    “Life time” = until we get bought by another company, then they will instantly kill off your life time subscription.

    “Unlimited” = 8 gigs max ( wireless carriers )

    Didn’t TiVo used to offer “life time” subscriptions to people for a fixed amount? Are they still honoring those “life times” or did it result in one of the above Orwellian double-speaks?

    Signed,
    “Mr. Optimism”

  2. One of the plans under consideration seems to link service specifically to a device – so it’d be the Lifetime of the device, which is similar to TiVo’s dealio. (I have Lifetime service on my Series3, though SDV will become a problem before the box dies is my guess.) I’d prefer the monthly music subscription, so I could come and go as I please… Since I’m a habitual device switcher.

  3. Leonardo DiCrapio March 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I have three Tivos with Lifetime Service on them. Yes, Tivo is still honoring the Lifetime Service on them.

  4. Michael Portuesi March 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    I like to buy music from sources other than iTunes, so I’d like neither a subscription nor a “content tax” on the purchase of the device.

  5. As long as they don’t cripple the device if I don’t purchase the subscription plan, they can do whatever they please.

    1) Unlimited access to 128kbps files is still crap
    2) I haven’t even listened to everything currently on my
    iPod

  6. Funny. Just a few years ago Steve Jobs was knocking the subscription business models of Napster and Rhapsody – “People want to OWN their music, not rent it.”

    I guess the iPhone and wireless networking changes things.

    Assuming your iPhone/iPod lasts for 2 years, $100 to listen to any song in the iTunes catalog seems like a pretty good deal. For the price of 10 albums, you can have 2 years of unlimited streams. I’m interested…