Apple in talks with music labels on iTunes music subscription service

“Apple is talking with the major record labels about a subscription music service that would give customers unlimited access to songs for a monthly fee, sources told The Post,” Claire Atkinson reports for The New York Post.

“One source said the service could have tiered pricing ranging from $10 to $15, although there are issues to be ironed out, including how much music would be included in each tier and how long consumers would be able to access that content,” Atkinson reports. “One top music exec said the labels are supportive of the idea and believe it could re-energize digital music sales. While album downloads have been on the rise, single track sales were flat in the first half of 2010 compared to the previous year.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, wonder why?
After music labels’ greedy track price hike from 99-cents to $1.29, U.S. digital song sales drop – April 09, 2010
Tracks that music cartel hiked to $1.29 on Apple’s iTunes Store show chart declines – April 10, 2009
Amazon follows Apple to $1.29 music tracks – April 08, 2009
Hit tracks to cost $1.29 at Apple’s iTunes Store starting April 7 – March 27, 2009

Atkinson continues, “Speculation that Apple would introduce a subscription service has been kicking around for years but the news that music service Spotify will be part of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 release on Oct. 11 revived industry chatter.

Read more in the full article here.

60 Comments

  1. I’d be into this if it worked like Zune Pass and I could actually download the music and put it on any iOS device (appletv) included. I don’t want to have to stream it. Though that’d be cool with Genius mixes.

    I’m sure it would optional and you could still buy songs just like you can now, so I don’t see what the big deal is if you don’t like it.

  2. I’d be into this if it worked like Zune Pass and I could actually download the music and put it on any iOS device (appletv) included. I don’t want to have to stream it. Though that’d be cool with Genius mixes.

    I’m sure it would optional and you could still buy songs just like you can now, so I don’t see what the big deal is if you don’t like it.

  3. I guess, if true, Steve woke up to the fact that some people just want to rent their music!

    For Steve to say songs should be bought for .99¢ when the business that “owns” it has other ideas is reminisce, and not fondly, of the current thinking in Washington! Downloads are down, just as Jobs are down. Apple, like the government, CAN get in the way of progress with their stalwart way of thinking of how things SHOULD be according to them and their philosophy. So much for that.

    And Greedy music cartels raise hit tracks to 1.29 from .99… those BASTARDS! However, I’m surprised that some people on here who are quick to chime in about the “rich” that want to keep their money instead of the government taxing it, post dumb ass responses like I guess you don’t want teachers, police, firemen, clean water, clean air, yada, yada, yada.

    Let’s see, the U.S. gives a boatload of bucks to Pakistan for their military and social programs. What do we get in return, a news report that the Pakistan ISS (their version of the CIA) is encouraging Taliban to attack U.S. soldiers and America’s Interests, like support material for those soldiers. Well that was tax money well spent!

    Anyway, I digress… How come I don’t hear from some in the MDN crowd, support for increased prices in song tracks? You GREEDY SOB’s… don’t you know what it costs the music cartel for you to get that music, to promote that concert, not to mention the sh*t they have to put up with from some of the “so called” talent that think the world of music will stop without them!

    I say $1.50 for purchase to own and $25.00/mo subscription for one price for all songs! None of this tier pricing crap! These rates won’t effect me. I’ve stopped listening and buying songs some twenty years ago! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue laugh” style=”border:0;” />

  4. I guess, if true, Steve woke up to the fact that some people just want to rent their music!

    For Steve to say songs should be bought for .99¢ when the business that “owns” it has other ideas is reminisce, and not fondly, of the current thinking in Washington! Downloads are down, just as Jobs are down. Apple, like the government, CAN get in the way of progress with their stalwart way of thinking of how things SHOULD be according to them and their philosophy. So much for that.

    And Greedy music cartels raise hit tracks to 1.29 from .99… those BASTARDS! However, I’m surprised that some people on here who are quick to chime in about the “rich” that want to keep their money instead of the government taxing it, post dumb ass responses like I guess you don’t want teachers, police, firemen, clean water, clean air, yada, yada, yada.

    Let’s see, the U.S. gives a boatload of bucks to Pakistan for their military and social programs. What do we get in return, a news report that the Pakistan ISS (their version of the CIA) is encouraging Taliban to attack U.S. soldiers and America’s Interests, like support material for those soldiers. Well that was tax money well spent!

    Anyway, I digress… How come I don’t hear from some in the MDN crowd, support for increased prices in song tracks? You GREEDY SOB’s… don’t you know what it costs the music cartel for you to get that music, to promote that concert, not to mention the sh*t they have to put up with from some of the “so called” talent that think the world of music will stop without them!

    I say $1.50 for purchase to own and $25.00/mo subscription for one price for all songs! None of this tier pricing crap! These rates won’t effect me. I’ve stopped listening and buying songs some twenty years ago! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue laugh” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Jobs has tried hard and long to make his vision of music consumption a reality. The major labels have wanted little to no part of it, probably largely to their reluctance to hand Apple yet more influence over the business. That Jobs/Apple is/are willing to change gears in order to improve music availability at an affordable price is worth applauding.

    Re renting music, I know as many people who like it as who don’t. I personally buy all my music, mainly through iTunes, but I often stream music through the radio stations offered through iTunes (a form of subscription in my view). I’ve bought a few albums after hearing tunes on the radio, although most of my discoveries are made by looking at what other artists/albums are suggested while sampling an album. All that’s to say that I guess I’m not into a subscription model personally but don’t want to block that choice for people who want it.

    Finally, I don’t find the $1.29-per-song price point too high. It has no impact on my purchasing decision. My only beef with it is that not enough money gets to the artists. I wish artists would start forming production collectives and market their works directly through iTunes.

  6. Jobs has tried hard and long to make his vision of music consumption a reality. The major labels have wanted little to no part of it, probably largely to their reluctance to hand Apple yet more influence over the business. That Jobs/Apple is/are willing to change gears in order to improve music availability at an affordable price is worth applauding.

    Re renting music, I know as many people who like it as who don’t. I personally buy all my music, mainly through iTunes, but I often stream music through the radio stations offered through iTunes (a form of subscription in my view). I’ve bought a few albums after hearing tunes on the radio, although most of my discoveries are made by looking at what other artists/albums are suggested while sampling an album. All that’s to say that I guess I’m not into a subscription model personally but don’t want to block that choice for people who want it.

    Finally, I don’t find the $1.29-per-song price point too high. It has no impact on my purchasing decision. My only beef with it is that not enough money gets to the artists. I wish artists would start forming production collectives and market their works directly through iTunes.

  7. I would assume Apple’s in talks with music labels about subscriptions. But *much more likely* they are talking about the model of “cloud” availability of purchased songs. This is coming first (or at the same time). Where whatever you bought on iTunes is available to stream to any computer or device at anytime from anywhere. The labels want to make sure this is done correctly.

    The other piece that Apple may not be able to do is streaming music in your library but not purchased from iTunes. Some other services do this or are working on this right now. Given many people have ripped CD’s, people don’t want to exclude those from this streaming “cloud” availability. But for obvious reasons it’s very tricky to address — some people have actually pirated music — the labels aren’t keen on making pirated libraries available from the “cloud.”

    In short, the streaming bit is coming first, many people are working on it. Subscriptions may be part of it. Both are meant to address the challenge of 16GB is a lot of music for an iPod… but which 16GB of my 200GB collection do I want to listen to at any point in time?

  8. I would assume Apple’s in talks with music labels about subscriptions. But *much more likely* they are talking about the model of “cloud” availability of purchased songs. This is coming first (or at the same time). Where whatever you bought on iTunes is available to stream to any computer or device at anytime from anywhere. The labels want to make sure this is done correctly.

    The other piece that Apple may not be able to do is streaming music in your library but not purchased from iTunes. Some other services do this or are working on this right now. Given many people have ripped CD’s, people don’t want to exclude those from this streaming “cloud” availability. But for obvious reasons it’s very tricky to address — some people have actually pirated music — the labels aren’t keen on making pirated libraries available from the “cloud.”

    In short, the streaming bit is coming first, many people are working on it. Subscriptions may be part of it. Both are meant to address the challenge of 16GB is a lot of music for an iPod… but which 16GB of my 200GB collection do I want to listen to at any point in time?

  9. Not for me but, iTunes Tracks how many times you play a song so this information could be used to divvy up the proceeds 95% for Labels and split the remaining 5% to the artists that are being played. Also if I am renting the music I am not also going to buy it so how does this increase sales?

    Another question would the subscription include Music Videos or maybe that would be the $15 tear.

    Apple could also have a $100 Tear for DJs that would allow for public performance.

  10. Not for me but, iTunes Tracks how many times you play a song so this information could be used to divvy up the proceeds 95% for Labels and split the remaining 5% to the artists that are being played. Also if I am renting the music I am not also going to buy it so how does this increase sales?

    Another question would the subscription include Music Videos or maybe that would be the $15 tear.

    Apple could also have a $100 Tear for DJs that would allow for public performance.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.