Yahoo doubles its subscription music prices

“Portal company Yahoo Inc. informed customers of its subscription music download service that it will increase pricing for users who transfer their tunes onto portable devices or CDs,” Matt Hines reports for PC Magazine. “The Sunnyvale, Calif., firm forwarded an e-mail to its Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers late Thursday telling customers that it plans to double the fee it charges for the so-called unlimited service from $4.99 per month to $9.99 per month, for people who buy the service on an annual basis.”

Hines reports, “Yahoo said people who subscribe to the download service on a monthly basis will see their memberships increase from $6.99 per month to $11.99 per month. Unlike subscribers to Apple Computer Inc.’s market leading iTunes music service, who pay 99 cents per song download and own the music forever thereafter, Yahoo’s service more closely mimics the offerings of Napster LLC and RealNetworks Inc., which allow users to download as many songs as they wish for use on their computers, but levee additional fees for permanent ownership of the digital content. In addition to the higher subscription fee, Yahoo charges subscribers 79 cents per download for music they want to keep for usage on a portable device or to burn onto CDs.”

Hines reports, “Yahoo claims that its service still represents the best deal on the market, while Napster charges a similar $9.95 per-month fee, plus 80 cents for each permanent download. Real’s Rhapsody service costs $9.99 for downloads to computers, while its Rhapsody to Go package, which allows users to transfer content to mobile devices, retails for $14.95 per month.”

Full article here.

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Grabbing as much cash as they can to minimize losses before shutting it down? We prefer to own our music, rather than rent. We also prefer seamless compatibility with our iPods and software that works for both Macs and Windows PCs. For those reasons we’ll stick with iTunes Music Store, thanks.

Related articles:
BusinessWeek: Apple unlikely to launch music subscription service – August 15, 2005
Analyst: Apple will lose market share to subscription services, fact that iTunes is tied to iPod – May 17, 2005
Study shows Apple iTunes Music Store pay-per-download model preferred over subscription service – April 11, 2005


  1. Just wait, it’s going to increase even more because Yahoo et al have no leverage due to their small marketshare.

    All I know is that the songs I paid $0.99 for are mine and that’s it. Done deal. Renting music is absurd. Just listen to the radio.

  2. This is scary. The way I see it this leaves all the power in the hands of your service provider. Imagine that you say, enough is enough, $40 bucks a month is too expensive. Lets switch providers. Imagine the amount of work!

    I feel much safer knowing that the music is mine.

  3. The end is near, Yahooooo!

    What is it that some companies just don’t get it… This is sooo obvious that you don’t have to be especially talented to figure out it won’t work.

    “Renting music” ha ha ha!!! What about “renting jokes” or “renting food” .

    I am glad I have bought my music.

  4. didn’t steve jobs && Co. have a contest who could guess when yahoo would raise the prices?

    ah, I almost feel bad for Yahoo..

    Apple mocked them by talking about the bet, and it turns out.. like 2 months later, Yahoo jacks up prices.. LAME!

    *shakes head.. paging Paul Thurrott…paging Paul Thurrott

  5. Yeah, Steve Jobs said publicly that there was a bet going on at Apple on how long it would take for them to raise prices. I think Jobs said his money was on 6 months, which should make it a fairly accurate prediction.


    Now all those cheapos will say, “damm if I would have bought the music at iTunes I could have owned it all by now and placed it on one of those new cool Video iPods”

    “Now I’m stuck paying a higher monthly fee and don’t own anything”


    Someone the other day bragged they have 300 songs and only pay several dollars a month. I told them I have over 7000 songs and I own every single one of them and to what I please with them. Create custom playlists, burn cd’s and carry them all around with me on my iPod.

    “You got 7000 songs in here?!”

    “Yep” I says ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. I think subscription services blow monkey chunks, because it’s true that you’re stuck if they raise the price… And if you bail, then you’re out whatever you paid for it.

    Just to say one thing about iTunes… That’s true, you do own it forever… and that’s the problem. You can never resell the music like a used CD… and as iTunes takes over, you’ll see the used CD market evaporate…

    Don’t believe me? Go an try to find an 8-track somethere.

    People have a hard time seeing beyond the current fad.

    Nevertheless, I think iTunes is great for those one hit wonders… but I wouldn’t buy albums on it.

    Go and read about the “First Sale Doctrine” under copyright law and you’ll see how digitization is making it disappear.

  8. Actually, it turns out Steve is in league with the Devil – a point that will surprise nobody.

    He made his comment at All Things Digital this year, during his interview which – according to the conference schedule – was at 7pm on May 22nd.

    So if you turn out to be at a poker table with Steve, cash in your chips and walk away – because he probably knows what cards you’ll get before they get dealt.

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