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. A few points:

    1. I want to own my music, not rent it. Every corporation in America is looking for a low monthly extortion fee, and value-added..blah, blah blah. We are being nickle and dimed to death.

    2. BANDWIDTH – Everyone wants to move into the cloud and stream, movies, music, tv. the US LACKS the infrastructure for this to be viable for many or MOST. Look at all the bandwidth providers enacting usage caps and extra fees. ALL these cloud services do is make bandwidth providers more money, and allow these corporations to know everything about us.

    The writing is on the wall, SKYNET is almost here..John Conner where are you?

  2. A few points:

    1. I want to own my music, not rent it. Every corporation in America is looking for a low monthly extortion fee, and value-added..blah, blah blah. We are being nickle and dimed to death.

    2. BANDWIDTH – Everyone wants to move into the cloud and stream, movies, music, tv. the US LACKS the infrastructure for this to be viable for many or MOST. Look at all the bandwidth providers enacting usage caps and extra fees. ALL these cloud services do is make bandwidth providers more money, and allow these corporations to know everything about us.

    The writing is on the wall, SKYNET is almost here..John Conner where are you?

  3. Geezus, all you “I want to own my music not rent it” people that have been belaboring the same point for the 5-10 years this concept has existed – you still don’t get it.

    IT’S ANOTHER OPTION. You don’t have to subscribe! If you do subscribe, and you like a song and want to own it, then guess what – you can buy it! Hopefully a return to the 99-cent price point would accompany this move. The reality is artists stand to make more money under this system. Not only does the pool of subscription money get divvied up based on who’s listening to what, but, more importantly, you’ll discover more music, risk-free, thereby increasing your chances of buying something you stumble upon and wouldn’t have heard otherwise.

  4. Geezus, all you “I want to own my music not rent it” people that have been belaboring the same point for the 5-10 years this concept has existed – you still don’t get it.

    IT’S ANOTHER OPTION. You don’t have to subscribe! If you do subscribe, and you like a song and want to own it, then guess what – you can buy it! Hopefully a return to the 99-cent price point would accompany this move. The reality is artists stand to make more money under this system. Not only does the pool of subscription money get divvied up based on who’s listening to what, but, more importantly, you’ll discover more music, risk-free, thereby increasing your chances of buying something you stumble upon and wouldn’t have heard otherwise.

  5. Has anybody in the music industry thought that sales might be down because they are mostly pushing bullshit? Music started to stagnate when station owners stopped programming locally, robbing new sounds and acts of exposure and a chance to get noticed.
    Thanks to Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercomm & other large group owners going to canned formats a few people get to decide what gets played on the bulk of radio stations. That’s exactly why stations like KCRW have gained such a wide following on the Internet.

  6. Has anybody in the music industry thought that sales might be down because they are mostly pushing bullshit? Music started to stagnate when station owners stopped programming locally, robbing new sounds and acts of exposure and a chance to get noticed.
    Thanks to Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercomm & other large group owners going to canned formats a few people get to decide what gets played on the bulk of radio stations. That’s exactly why stations like KCRW have gained such a wide following on the Internet.

  7. I prefer to own my music as well, because I am already subscriptioned to death. Pandora and Last.fm allows me to fill in some gaps or try out some music, so that’s good enough for me.

    I’m not opposed to an iTunes subscription plan as long as it is optional.

  8. I prefer to own my music as well, because I am already subscriptioned to death. Pandora and Last.fm allows me to fill in some gaps or try out some music, so that’s good enough for me.

    I’m not opposed to an iTunes subscription plan as long as it is optional.

  9. Steve Jobs is fundamentally right in that there is a difference between music and video. Most people buy music because you can listen to your music when you do many other things, and you don’t mind listening to your favourite music many, many times. Unlike video, which you only watch when you can’t really do anything else (no driving/running and watching), and it’s unlikely you’ll watch even favourite movies more than just a few times.

    Subscription model does, however, have a valid audience that Apple isn’t addressing today. Teen market for digital downloads is quite significant, and is perfect for subscriptions. Their musical tastes are in very early stages of formation, and have very limited shelf life (Jonas brothers, Selena Gomez, etc). I can’t think of any young adult who isn’t embarrassed of his/her teen music choices.

    Subscription model is ideal for them. All-you-can-eat teen fare, for a few years, doesn’t break their bank, gives them the ability to listen to whatever they like, then dump all that stuff once they outgrow it.

  10. Steve Jobs is fundamentally right in that there is a difference between music and video. Most people buy music because you can listen to your music when you do many other things, and you don’t mind listening to your favourite music many, many times. Unlike video, which you only watch when you can’t really do anything else (no driving/running and watching), and it’s unlikely you’ll watch even favourite movies more than just a few times.

    Subscription model does, however, have a valid audience that Apple isn’t addressing today. Teen market for digital downloads is quite significant, and is perfect for subscriptions. Their musical tastes are in very early stages of formation, and have very limited shelf life (Jonas brothers, Selena Gomez, etc). I can’t think of any young adult who isn’t embarrassed of his/her teen music choices.

    Subscription model is ideal for them. All-you-can-eat teen fare, for a few years, doesn’t break their bank, gives them the ability to listen to whatever they like, then dump all that stuff once they outgrow it.

  11. The part of subscriptions I like is not having to store all that music. I must have 300 records still, at least triple that many CD’s, cassettes still, and digital downloads. Wouldn’t it be nice just to have access to the entire world of music without having to worry about breaking or losing devices or physical media? Without having to buy hard drives, record needles, and using lots of space in your home? for $15 a month, it’s well, well worth it for the person with a large collection.

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