CEO of digital distribution firm says Apple to debut iTunes Store subscriptions with 6 months

Apple Store“Since Apple launched its wildly successful iTunes music store back in 2003, CEO Steve Jobs has adamantly refused to offer a monthly subscription service. If you want to buy music from iTunes, you do it either by the single or the album, that’s it. But that could soon change,” Paul R. La Monica reports for CNNMoney.

“Les Ottolenghi, CEO of INTENT MediaWorks, a digital distribution system that works with peer-to-peer networks, said he’s had meetings with people from Apple and he believes the company will announce a subscription service for iTunes within the next six months. ‘I think Apple is seriously considering a subscription offering right now even though they will probably tell you otherwise,’ he said. Spokespeople for Apple were not immediately available for comment,” La Monica reports.

La Monica reports, “So far though, it appears that Apple has made the right decision to spurn the subscription model. Rival online music stores, such as Napster, RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Yahoo’s Y! Music Unlimited, that offer monthly subscriptions have failed to attract a lot of interest. In fact, I wrote yesterday about how teens widely prefer iTunes to subscription-based music stores.”

“But Ottolenghi said that even though music subscription services have struggled against iTunes so far, he doesn’t think consumers are necessarily averse to paying monthly subscriptions. He argues that because Apple doesn’t offer a subscription product, that’s why music fans haven’t embraced the model,” La Monica reports.

Full article here.
Subscriptions for music? Well, okay, whatever – for those that want that option. But, subscriptions for movies and/or TV shows, now that could have some real widespread interest!

Related articles:
CNET Editor: Apple will soon introduce subscription-based music and video service – June 01, 2006
Consultant: Apple iPod dominance holding back subscription services – April 17, 2006
EMI Music Chairman: Music subscription services like Napster and Rhapsody haven’t beeen huge – January 23, 2006

43 Comments

  1. “Subscriptions for music? Well, okay, whatever – for those that want that option. But, subscriptions for movies and/or TV shows, now that could have some real widespread interest!”

    Yup…. true enuff …

    But this article makes me wonder how this guy got his “Amazing Kreskin” abilities … and how does he know what His Steveness is thinking ??

    And another thing …
    Has anyone ever heard of the P2P called “INTENT MediaWorks” ??

    Limewire, maybe …

  2. It’s funny how opinions on this board can change so quickly. It wasn’t that long ago that people recoiled at the idea of subscription based TV and movies. Now it seems people are warming up to the idea.

    Personally, I won’t buy an $TV until Apple has a subscription TV and movie service. I’ve already dumped my cable in favor of BLockbuster by mail, and I’ll drop Block buster if Apple has a reasonable subscription as well.

  3. “[B]ecause Apple doesn’t offer a subscription product, that’s why music fans haven’t embraced the model.”

    Uh, OK, whatever. So people really want a subscription based iTunes, they just haven’t had a public outcry over it, Apple’s consumer research says people want to own their music instead of renting it, and iTunes sells more music than all other services combined.

    The real problem is that Steve Jobs is simply too stubborn to offer a subscription service, that’s why subscription services haven’t taken off. Sure. It’s all Apple’s fault for not offering subscriptions.

    Subscriptions do make sense for movies and TV shows. Typically you watch a DVD a few times, and then it sits on the shelf gathering dust. Pay-per-view or On Demand has been popular for many years for precisely this reason.

    I definitely could see renting a movie/TV show, or subscribing to a TV show so I don’t have to see commercials or so I can see a show I missed (like 24 from the beginning, say), but not with music.

    Music and video are two different animals. You won’t see a subscription model for music on iTunes, but we will see one for video content.

  4. I would really like to see a subscription model for movies and TV. I don’t care about music.

    I’m hoping that will happen, but I’m not counting on it. The same thing impulse that drives Jobs to insist that the Ipod only has 5 (he actually only wanted 4) buttons also keeps him from changing mistakes. Two examples:

    Cursor keys
    Two buton mouse.

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