Music labels want iTunes subscription service | iLounge News

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Music labels want iTunes subscription service

The four major record labels are expected to ask Apple to launch an iTunes music subscription service during negotiations to renew their resale agreements with Apple. The discussions will reportedly begin next week when Universal Music, the largest record company, meets with Apple. Marketwatch reports: “Executives at Universal and other labels believe a subscription service could prove more lucrative for them than iTunes’ prevailing model of charging consumers 99 cents per track because it would increase consumption of music. It would also entitle the labels to a share of monthly payments, in addition to small licensing fees each time their songs are played.”

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Comments

21

BJ is right and steve did it(bad talk) in past against monthely subscription service. Which gave most comsumers wrong idea about monthely subscription service and now most ipod user have no idea about it. They think it willbe strictely for everybody who use itune. They are not aware it’s an option only which are for those only who want to subscribe for monthely service. Otherwise itune buy only service will be stay remain for everybody. Monthely subscription means are “the person who subscribe for that service have to pay $10 to $15 a month and who can listen and download unlimited tracks and album on number of devices(mp3 plaers) whitout paying for indivisual track or album. Also for that person who subscribe still have choice to buy indivisual track or album to keep permenant. Now itune ala carte service will be stay same after offering subscription service. But only(the person)who subscribe for that have to pay monthely fee. All others will be free to buy indivisual track or albums. So it’s more like option or choice not restriction. BTW Napster, Yahoo and Rhapsody are the sameway. You can download(Napster, Yahoo, Rhapsody ect) jukebox and start buy indivisual tracks or albums without subscribing for monthely service.

Posted by SHEHZAD on April 13, 2007 at 6:27 PM (CDT)

22

“There is no “good” argument for subscription music services. Never has been, and there never will be.

I win. Don’t feel bad.”

Wow, do you use this logic in your daily life much?

The idea of trying to take apart someone’s points is to offer counterpoints, you just declared yourself right in the complete absence of any justification.

I’ve posted the math in the forums numerous times so I won’t waste my time again, but it really is a much better deal economically for someone like me with over 25,000 music tracks to subscribe from the time I’m 15 to 90 rather than buy. That right there is more than enough of a good reason for subscription services.

Anti-sub people are the equivalent of creationists: blockheads you couldn’t convince of a rational argument if their life depended on it.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 13, 2007 at 6:30 PM (CDT)

23

I think people are not understanding each others needs and that’s where the disagreement about subscription service.

First, we know that iTunes will never do away with the per track download system.  Napster/Yahoo all offer the ability to buy tracks on top of their subscription model.

I personally don’t think I’d ever do a subscription service.  However, I think it’s a great idea.  For people who solely use their iPod/computer for music, this allows them to essentially become their own radio station.  They can fill their iPod with all the hot summer tunes that they’ll be sick of by August. 

The reason I don’t like it (and I assume opponents don’t) is because it limits how I can use the music.  I can’t burn mix CDs for friends or use the music in a home video.  I also can’t edit the songs for whatever funky reason I have.

I see nothing wrong with the subscription model even if it’s not for me.  Lets not all be haters!

Posted by DF57 on April 13, 2007 at 6:44 PM (CDT)

24

Code Monkey, I countered all of your arguments, then I declared victory.

And once more, 25,000 tracks!?!

Dude, get selective.

Posted by Fink on April 13, 2007 at 7:02 PM (CDT)

25

code monkey, thanks for making me think about subscription services…  for me, i neither use itunes store nor do i plan to subscribe (to anyone);  however, i did go through the math.

i have roughly 400 cds.
let’s say they average $12 each
let’s say subscription is $15/month

i own $4800 worth of cds
$4800 at $15/mth is enough to keep me going for over 26 years…

i can see your point… :)

fink, it’s not about winning or losing…

Posted by gho_vpod on April 13, 2007 at 8:25 PM (CDT)

26

DF57 you are right at this point. Most peoples don’t edit and burn cds lot. Iam one of them who use there ipods with boombox, hometheatre system and in car. So subscription service will be awesome for me. I can fill my ipod with thousands of songs(latest) for only $10 to $15 month and i can use with same devices(also stream with Apple tv)woww.

Posted by SHEHZAD on April 13, 2007 at 8:46 PM (CDT)

27

If they want to add subscription as an extra option to give consumers more choice, then fine.  The record companies better not dare take away my ability to buy my tracks as I wish!!  I’m not into renting my music.  I buy it.  I like the convenience of buying the music I like from the comfort of my own home.  I like having the option of spending my money they way I wish online. Paying a monthly fee to have the “right” to listen to music?  No thanks record companies!

Posted by canadan on April 13, 2007 at 10:21 PM (CDT)

28

The problem with the subscription service is that it takes away ownership completely from the listener and makes it the ideal for the RIAA. I’m sorry, but when I pay for a song, I’m used to getting the ability to listen to that song until the day I die or the format becomes unreadable.

With a subscription based service, let’s say you love Depeche Mode. However, a few months after you get them, there is a fight between Apple and Warner. Suddenly, they pull their catalog, and suddenly you have some files you can’t use because of the record companies. Even after Cloud Nine by George Harrison went out of print, we could still listen to the vinyl record. Nobody from Dark Horse came to my house and broke it in half. But that’s precisely what can happen.

This is completely unlike cable TV or movies. Movies for instance, tend not to be watched repeatedly like a song is. There are many movies I have only seen once and enjoyed, I can’t say the same for music. Cable TV is a service that offers broadcasts that are sent into my home in a completely different medium. Plus, if I so desire - I could easily record the program for my own personal viewing and nobody can stop that (yet). Even if I shut off my cable, the tapes I have of my favorite programs are still watchable. Plus consider that cable is not just entertainment, it is also access to modern events and view points you might not just get over the air. Music tends not to be so timely as the ten o’clock news.

Logically speaking, for most people, a subscription service doesn’t work. It benefits the record company, and they end up getting more money for your music than they should. It isn’t like they’ll increase the amount of music you can get or anything like that. Plus, I like the risk of paying 15 bucks, and discovering a really awesome album. I mean, to me at least - that is part of the joy of an album. The unknown that could be so great.

Also - this could be worse for music overall. This will also make it possible for music to not have a chance to grow on you. When you spent some of your funds on an album, you are going to listen to it, and you might discover an album you didn’t like end up becoming one of your favorites. Think about Captain Beefheart - I know not many people who instantly loved his music - it had to grow on them. Will kids just throw his music away because - hey, here’s a pop hit I can get into instantly? It suddenly makes music an instant attraction instead of growing on you. If I hadn’t paid for Tom Waits, I would have never realized how great he was. I would have just deleted the files to never be heard again. And I hate to think about that thought.

Posted by Tholian on April 13, 2007 at 10:46 PM (CDT)

29

Exactly, Tholian. I just don’t understand why people would want a subscription for their music. It doesn’t make sense at all.

Posted by Fink on April 13, 2007 at 11:24 PM (CDT)

30

Pros for Subscription

-Unlimited music, at a set price
-easily backed up, if hard drive fails
-saves hardcore audio collectors money on music

Cons

-no motivation for record companies to produce quality music because you’re “hooked” into a contract
- no long term way to keep your music without continuously paying for it
-lazy consumers may forget to download new music and wasted payments


I can see how you could argue both ways, it really just depends if you’re into downloading a lot or little bit of music, no right or wrong answer here, personally, I wouldn’t do it because I feel like the best way to voice your opinion over the specific bands you like is by downloading THEIR music and not some crappy, god-awful panic at the Gaysco cd. :)

Posted by Ben on April 14, 2007 at 12:23 AM (CDT)

31

Actually, the biggest con that you failed to mention was that it allows the record companies to carry on with DRM. See, Jobs doesn’t want to sell music with DRM on it anymore, so, how can the record companies still maintain that DRM? A subscription service (you need to have something in place to keep the files from playing after a certain date in order for the subscription service).

The pros Ben listed, only one is completely true. The first one is wrong in the fact that it is not unlimited. There will surely be a limit (in terms of data size) of how much music you can get for a subscription, and even then, only the music the record companies have on the store. Plus, seeing how this will limit what the consumer can do with the music (you can’t burn it onto a CD, you probably won’t be able to put it onto many iPods, and god help you if the album goes out of print or the company pulls those tracks), it is hardly unlimited.

The second one is true. However, iTunes could put something in place where if you lose your music, once a year, you can redownload it. However, I would just say that you should engage in good backup techniques anyway - but a lot of people don’t.

The third one isn’t true. If you are a hardcore collector - anything less than the CD\LP will do. Plus, if you are a hardcore collector and you are getting music online, you surely aren’t going to want something that could disappear. With the current model, even if Warner pulls all of its music away, I can still listen to the tracks I’ve downloaded. If I am a collector, I don’t want files that could be render void because of the record companies behest. Plus, a hardcore collector is going to have WAY more than 5 gigs (arbitrary number) of music than the subscription service would probably allow.

Frankly, I see no true benefits for a subscription service in the long run. The biggest problem is it starts putting more power and control in the hands of the record company. They get to keep their DRM, they get to keep getting paid even though before they only got paid once. Which also brings up another point - it rips off the artist. You know the bands aren’t going to see much if any of that licensing money - it’s all going to go to the record companies, so the record company just increases the amount that they screw over the artist for money (though to be fair, the artist doesn’t have a good deal right now either, but let’s not increase the amount that they get screwed over).

Posted by Tholian on April 14, 2007 at 11:44 AM (CDT)

32

Or, you could do BOTH subscription AND owning your own music SIMULTANEOUSLY!

I have been part of the CD music clubs for over 10 years.  Columbia House, then BMG and now Yourmusic.com.  These subscription services allow me to average $7-8 per month and buy only the CDs I want, which I then own, rip and file away as desired.  This service doesn’t even involve a monthly “subscription” fee, per se; I merely consent to buy a certain amount of music per month, and am free to cancel at any time without losing anything!  The downside is a limited catalog.  However, this problem is not intrinsic to the system and could be solved with a mainstream CD music service with widespread backing.  For now, I find other avenues to fill in the gaps, including retail and, when I have absolutely no alternative, iTunes Music Store (upon which my purchase promptly gets burned and ripped to my HD and backup storage). 

I would NEVER sign with a subscription service that revoked my access to music when I stopped paying.  What if you want to switch to a different company or plan? 

To those who are attempting to use the analogy of cable TV or cell phone service—are you serious??  Cable is more like a disposable magazine or newspaper service: drama, sports or current events that I watch once and never watch again.  For very notable programs or movies (like say the Sopranos, Shawshank Redemption, or even National Geographic) that one wants to enjoy on repeated viewings, one can generally purchase these on DVD.  With cell service you are paying for communications and bandwith, not pre-existing media.  There’s nothing hypocritical about using these and rejecting music subcription.

Posted by jarofchris on April 14, 2007 at 12:31 PM (CDT)

33

“To those who are attempting to use the analogy of cable TV or cell phone service—are you serious??”

OK, how about electricity? Water? Gas for your car? What pound sledge hammer does it take to pound a very simple notion into all your thick heads?

We pay for services every single month for which we will A) never stop paying and B) will never have a single thing to show for it after we stop paying.

Now, as of this moment in time there are some arguments that explain why ownership is a better choice in many scenarios (e.g. lossless quality, full operability with all devices, etc.), BUT, ownership of music in and of itself is not one them.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 15, 2007 at 10:25 AM (CDT)

34

If it is say 15$ or 20$a month I hope it is 100 songs or say unlimited songs…if it is just 15$-20$ worth of songs, then what’s the point? When I buy iTunes cards, it takes me a month at least to pick out songs, I don’t want to waste money. Now if it was 15$-20$ for 100 or more it will be like a kid in a candy store.

Posted by JW on April 15, 2007 at 11:10 AM (CDT)

35

A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE WOULD ROCK!
A subscription service wouldn’t replace the pay to download part of iTunes, you can still pay $0.99 cents per song to download or however much a month to rent.  Also, I buy at least $25.00 worth of music a month (probably more) since I first bought my iPod well under a year ago, amounting in over $250.00.  If i could pay $190.00 or less a year for a subscription service, I would happily pay for it for the rest of my life.
Plus I have seen many people say they will not buy an iPod until itunes releases a subscription service for it.
I NEED A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE!

Posted by Tim on April 15, 2007 at 7:19 PM (CDT)

36

You know I never thought I would ‘RENT’ music.
As a big CD buyer since the 80s I have tons of songs to fill up my iPOD.  And with a CD you OWN something and can collect the artwork.
But a year or two ago there were many 2 month trials around to test Rhapsody and Yahoo Music unlimited.
I tried Rhapsody with a Sansa and its just not the same as an iPOD so I quit that.
But I did like the nice price of $60 for 2 years of Yahoo streaming!!!  Now I listen to it ALL the time BEFORE I buy CDS.
and Yahoo gives you the option to buy reduced price download CDs or $0.79 songs.  So Apple has to beat that for me to be their customer. And they have to increase their crappy 128 kbps sound.

No more CD duds!  I’m sure I like the CD before I buy it to own it forever.

I also joined Emusic.com to purchase indie and progressive music that I like for $10 a month for 40 tracks.

So I think subscriptions, Emusic, and pay per track can happily exist all together.
You pick the plan that’s right for you and everyone is happy!

If the price is too high, I do not buy.

Posted by Liz Ashley on April 15, 2007 at 8:35 PM (CDT)

37

Codemonkey, it’ll take a bigger sledge hammer than you’ll ever wield. Face it, you’re not winning this argument. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

I’m not having my music collection be at the whim of a subscription service that could disappear at a moments notice. Without warning. And then I would have NO music.

Subscription services for music are so dumb.

Posted by FInk on April 16, 2007 at 7:48 AM (CDT)

38

Here are two points I haven’t seen mentioned in this thread… one anti-sub, one pro-sub.

Anti-sub:
There’s no guarantee that the sub price won’t keep climbing year by year once they’ve “got you.”  Case in point… my beloved “DirecTivo” keeps me chained to DirecTV, and I’ve only kept them from sticking me with hundreds more per year in fee increases by spending SO many hours bitching to them on the phone that they gave me a sweetheart deal just to shut me up.

In fact, the longer a music sub customer’s tenure, the more they have you by the balls… pay the increased fee or you lose all that music, and waste the countless hours you’ve spent finding, downloading, rating, etc.

Pro-sub: In a word… Tunebite.  This app is the only reason I’m a Yahoo Unlimited subscriber.  I’ll pay their fee for as long as it seems worth it, because Tunebite makes it possible for me to listen to my downloads on my iPod, apply ReplayGain to my tracks instead of using iTunes’ crappy “Sound Check,” and have peace of mind.

In short, I subscribe *only* because I know that if they jack up their prices, go belly up or just don’t seem worth the price anymore I can cancel and still keep what I’ve downloaded.

Posted by atreyu on April 16, 2007 at 2:15 PM (CDT)

39

I think it’s not matter of winning and loosing or record labels will make more money. It’s matter of choice which base on what you like and what you do not like. As many already mentioned here “even after subscription service itune buy only service will stay same”. Then nothing left to hate subscription service idea. Because in past many peoples speak about itune buy service and they wanted Apple add subscription which will give them choice to discover more music. Still good news for the peoples who want to stick with buy only service they will go with that. I would buy albums Some peoples are audiophiles and 128kbps don’t work for them. They prefer higher bitrates(256kbps)or losless.

Posted by shehzad on April 16, 2007 at 6:17 PM (CDT)

40

“Codemonkey, it’ll take a bigger sledge hammer than you’ll ever wield. Face it, you’re not winning this argument. You’re comparing apples and oranges.”

No, I’m comparing apples to apples while people who can’t admit they’re wrong scream, “That’s not an apple!” and think it helps their non-platform.

If *you* are so convinced that you will actually gain something by never using subs, then no one is going to force them on you, but that you actually have the audacity to claim that your personal viewpoint means there aren’t solid justifications for why many people choose them is telling of an inability to work well with others.

Going back to the other page, when I made the point that my music collection would be far cheaper if I’d never purchased any of it, your comeback was to say I needed to be more selective, because, you know, having a whole less than 0.5% of all the music available out there shows that I just have no ability to make choices. I guess I really should have been more considerate and deleted 2/3rds of my music collection so I couldn’t actually provide any real world examples that back up my viewpoint.

The problem is not that I’m not selective, or that subs aren’t a great service for many scenarios, it’s that you can’t let yourself consider that maybe, just maybe, other people like different things than you and assign different values to convenience. It’s not enough that subs aren’t your thing, no, you have to demonstrate the equivalent of school yard debate rules to try and “prove” they aren’t anybody’s thing, and that anybody who thinks otherwise should be shouted down and ridiculed. You’re a lovely person.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 17, 2007 at 9:28 AM (CDT)

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