“Ask folks in the digital-music industry [look] to make predictions for the next year, and here’s one that would be the near the top of most lists: Apple Computer, the king of selling downloads thanks to the huge success of its iTunes Music Store, will launch a music-subscription service. That way, consumers who don’t want to buy big digital collections could pay a flat monthly fee to hear — but not own — almost any song they want,” Heather Green and Peter Burrows write for BusinessWeek.
“BusinessWeek Online has learned that Apple is not likely to get into the subscription game soon — and maybe not ever, unless one of its rivals comes up with a way to make subscriptions mainstream,” Green and Burrows report. “Two music executives tell BusinessWeek Online that earlier this summer, soon after Yahoo’s announcement of its Music Unlimited subscription service, Apple sounded them out about potential financial terms of a subscription service. One of the label executives said Apple was concerned about what e-tailer Amazon.com or Google might do in this area. But, says the source, Apple seemed unlikely to make a move until a rival began forging inroads into its music empire.”
Green and Burrows report, “That’s a ways off yet. So far, only 2 million-or-so people have signed up for offerings such as RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service or one from Napster. Even Yahoo’s 3-month-old Music Unlimited, although priced at less than half of the others at just $60 a year, has failed to make big headway… Regardless of how many analysts, entrepreneurs, or current subscription customers think subscription services are the future of digital music, Apple may hold the key to it ever arriving.”
Full article here.
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