Apple CEO: iTunes subscriptions unlikely, labels considering DRM-free tracks | iLounge News


Apple CEO: iTunes subscriptions unlikely, labels considering DRM-free tracks

Ahead of contract re-negotiations with record labels, Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicated he is unlikely to heed calls for a subscription-based iTunes music service. “Never say never, but customers don’t seem to be interested in it,” Jobs told Reuters. “The subscription model has failed so far.” Jobs reaffirmed that “people want to own their music.” Jobs also said that, following EMI’s lead, the other major record labels are considering dropping copy-protection on their music offerings. “There are a lot of people in the other music companies who are very intrigued by it,” Jobs said. “They’re thinking very hard about it right now.”

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I think subscription services are a great idea, they just haven’t caught on yet for reasons I’m not sure of.  I’ve been using the Rhapsody music service for years and I love it.  It doesn’t bother me at all that I don’t get to keep the songs when my subscription is over.  I’ve been given what I paid for which was the ability to listen to their library whenever I wanted.  I’ve discovered so much new music that way.  If I didn’t have it I’d probably be listening to the same stuff I’ve listened over and over because I didn’t want to pay for songs I’ve never heard before.

I think Apple is going to leaving the door open for other companies that offer MP3 players that are compatible with subscription services which won’t be good if labels do follow suit with EMI and start offering DRM-free tracks.  Because then ipod will be inferior in terms of versatility.

Posted by jy2surf on April 26, 2007 at 6:06 AM (CDT)


Steve’s right—music by subscription is a lame idea. But MOVIES by subscription might be a whole ‘nother thing.

The Rental model is a long-established way of consuming movies. Jobs has made comments in the past that suggest he understands the difference between renting tunes and flicks, and may be more open to the latter.

If a subscription based plan is ever to gain traction at Apple, I predict it’ll involve movies rather than music.

Posted by random guy on April 26, 2007 at 8:47 AM (CDT)


I would definitely be interested in a subscription-based movie service.  If only the data transfers were more reasonable - 4GB is just too big and 700MB would make me resent buying my HD TV.

Posted by PeterT on April 26, 2007 at 9:37 AM (CDT)


There’s no way I would use a subscription service for music. I listen to my music a lot, but I don’t always have the money to buy new music. If iTunes was subscription-based, I may not want to pay the subscription fee every month. When I buy my music, I pay the $0.99 per track, and that’s it. I don’t want to keep paying for my music indefinitely.

Now a subscription service for video I could certainly do because I typically don’t watch videos more than once, however, I’d rather have a flat rental service for video.

Posted by jasonact on April 26, 2007 at 10:22 AM (CDT)


jasonact even if itune launch music rental service(monthely subscription service) and it’s buy only option will stay same for everybody. But only for those peoples who want to subscribe for itune monthely subscription they have to pay monthely fee and other willbe free to buy there music without paying monthely fee. I think most ipod users not aware monthely subscription(rent music) have nothing to do with buy only option. It’s just premium service for those who want to subscribe for that. Now Napster, Yahoo and Urge all do the same if someone download there jukebox(Napster, Yahoo, Urge) and can start buying music without subscribe for monthely rental service.

Posted by shehzad on April 26, 2007 at 12:34 PM (CDT)


Music rentals? Nah… Movie rentals? Definitely! But only if the price and download speeds are right. Movielink’s rentals cost the same as DVD rentals. And for that price, the download took so long that I’d have time to run to the video store and back, and make popcorn too! You’d think they would have priced them cheaper than DVDs, if not for this reason alone. If iTunes Store can do it better, I’d jump onboard in a heartbeat.

Posted by Laer on April 26, 2007 at 8:38 PM (CDT)


The subscription model has failed so far…

Well, when over 70% of MP3 players in the U.S. don’t have the choice available to them, why is this not surprising?

Literally a rotating choice thousands of songs for what…$15 a month? (Yahoo!) A price of a single CD? And you can always have the option to BUY those select songs and albums you really want to keep forever (or at least until your hard drive crashes). For someone who always is fulfilling their diet for new music…what exactly is wrong with this model? In the long run loading up thousands of songs is a LOT cheaper than buying, and there’s a lot less clutter when jettisoning all those overplayed songs you finally do become dead tired of.

Considering what sat radio goes for per month, it doesn’t seem like it’s too expensive to me.

Posted by flatline response on April 27, 2007 at 1:45 AM (CDT)

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