BusinessWeek: Apple not likely to offer subscription service

BusinessWeek reports that Apple is not likely to launch an iTunes music subscription service unless a rival service starts to see “mainstream” user numbers.

“Two music executives tell BusinessWeek Online that earlier this summer, soon after Yahoo’s announcement of its Music Unlimited subscription service, Apple sounded them out about potential financial terms of a subscription service. One of the label executives said Apple was concerned about what e-tailer Amazon.com or Google might do in this area. But, says the source, Apple seemed unlikely to make a move until a rival began forging inroads into its music empire.”

BusinessWeek says that Apple doesn’t have much to worry about right now. “So far, only 2 million-or-so people have signed up for offerings such as RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service or one from Napster. Even Yahoo’s 3-month-old Music Unlimited, although priced at less than half of the others at just $60 a year, has failed to make big headway.”

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