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View Full Version : Gunning for iTunes


MacBytes
Jan 25, 2005, 10:16 AM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Gunning for iTunes (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050125111606)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

24C
Jan 25, 2005, 10:25 AM
I keep hearing this, that subscription is better than real ownership...but if that was the case I'd keep renting DVD's etc that way, and I'd never feel the need to buy or keep my own DVD collection.

I can't help feeling all these articles are wishful spin, after all, iPods have huge market share, great iTunes stores (for those lucky to have them)..I can still get music from other stores, I just have to rip it to CD to get them onto the iPod to beat incompatible DRM.

If subscription services were so great, I'd expect to see them on 'ring tone' providers first, but I haven't noticed folks do that. Maybe subscription is a demographic age thing?

717
Jan 25, 2005, 10:27 AM
"Apple's iTunes, for example, announced it has sold 250,000 million songs"

At least they should check the names and the numbers before they publish :-\

Lacero
Jan 25, 2005, 10:30 AM
The market speaks with its wallet. So if iTunes is profitable and sells 250,000,000 songs, that speaks volumes of which model works. This tells me people want to own their music.

dfa4
Jan 25, 2005, 10:33 AM
what a sad day when you come upon hard times, lose your job, spouse decides to leave you, junior needs bail money, and corporate fat-cat execs abscond with your entire retirment... and just at the moment you are most in need of a musical diversion, you realize that you weren't able to make last month's subscription payment... and like that... all your music is gone! from your computer and your "iPod-killer" WMA device.

"plays for sure" my a $ $ !

alywa
Jan 25, 2005, 10:54 AM
I can't see the benefit to the subscription based thing. You are locking yourself into $15/month to hear the music you want. If you want an album to own, wouldn't you feel ripped off to buy it, in addition?

Plus, this will require maintanence of the collection. XM and Sirius offer a maintanence-free solution for unlimited music, granted you don't pick what you hear, but their selection of channels is very compelling.

I think people want to own their music. I know I do. I like iTunes, and I purchace both there and through traditional CDs. More and More, however, it's iTunes due to convenience and instant gratification.

Anyway, the market will let us know who is right. I think iTunes is on the winning team.

-alywa

RHutch
Jan 25, 2005, 11:08 AM
There is a $5 premium for adding portability to one of the subscription services. So, an additional $5 per month ($60 per year) to be able to listen to your rented music on your portable player. It doesn't cost me one cent extra to listen to the music I purchase from iTunes on my iPod anywhere I want to go.

This further demonstrates to me the inferiority of the subscription model. You have to pay every month just to keep your music. Then you have to pay more to take it with you. NO, THANK YOU!!!

suntzu
Jan 25, 2005, 11:13 AM
"We're not going to advertise this feature," said one representative of a leading service. "It's something that will take time for consumers to grasp."

Maybe I'm just reading this wrong but did the rep basically say, "We're not going to tell people they're renting their music. We're hoping they won't put up some kind of a fight."?

"The technology aspect needs to be stripped out of the equation. People need to understand that they can take their music with them, they can take it on the bus."

Uh, I think people already understand they can take it on the bus. I think they've understood since cassette tapes. I don't know. Maybe it's a case of "It's something that will take time for companies to grasp." :D

Wonder Boy
Jan 25, 2005, 12:20 PM
what if the record labels are pushing for subscription models? think about it. people (like me) would be so turned off to the idea of buying online music that we are strong armed into buying physical cds again. for the record labels, things would be just like the good old days, except this time they can print cd's with super DRM that would limit ripping/transferring even more than digital files already do.

regards from the grassy nole,
wonder boy

bousozoku
Jan 25, 2005, 12:52 PM
"We're not going to advertise this feature," said one representative of a leading service. "It's something that will take time for consumers to grasp."

Maybe I'm just reading this wrong but did the rep basically say, "We're not going to tell people they're renting their music. We're hoping they won't put up some kind of a fight."?
...


It looked to me as if they were talking about not advertising the download to portable player service. They've been losing money and you certainly wouldn't want to advertise a losing business, would you?

Has anyone else noticed that Microsoft chose the name Janus--the two-faced god? Think there is future irony in that? Does PocketPC still make you WinCE? :D

jbembe
Jan 25, 2005, 12:53 PM
The only way I'd use a subscription service is if iTunes included a statistical analysis algorithm (like musicmobs or audioscrobbler) that obtains a fingerprint of the music I listen to and created a radio station of music I might like based upon the results. I wouldn't pay 15$, but for a few bucks it might be nice to sample some music occasionally that comes to me because folks who listen to what I listen to also like X.

Otherwise, subscription is dead.

Fredstar
Jan 25, 2005, 01:12 PM
what if the record labels are pushing for subscription models? think about it. people (like me) would be so turned off to the idea of buying online music that we are strong armed into buying physical cds again. for the record labels, things would be just like the good old days, except this time they can print cd's with super DRM that would limit ripping/transferring even more than digital files already do.

I doubt artists and record company's would want to put people off downloading music, it is highly profitable for them. Think about it - no variable costs in cds/machinery/cut from supplier/shop.
ITMS is like a dream come true where artists and record companies don't have to lift a finger and they get hardcore revenues and profits.
I have no idea how or why they would support this subscription service. That is what puzzles me.

TylerK9
Jan 25, 2005, 01:40 PM
Seems to me there's one other BIG problem with this approach: Your songs won't work on the most popular portable player out there (the iPod). I'd wager that a good chunk of people who want to download music already own an iPod. How happy are they going to be about buying another player?

nagromme
Jan 25, 2005, 03:34 PM
The subscription model offers unique and REAL (no pun) advantages. It also has its disadvantages. Nothing wrong with having both options in the market--but by far, MOST people want to buy their music, not rent it.

The downloads market is taking off thanks to Apple. If the time is right and the subscription market seems like it might become equally important, then Apple can jump in with ready-made mindshare.

I don't think that time has come, however.

BugMeNot
Jan 25, 2005, 03:36 PM
Does anyone know how much money the artists get with a subscription based service? (same as if consumers buy songs like itms?)

plinkoman
Jan 25, 2005, 04:57 PM
now thats just retarded, if i'm reading how that janus thing works right, every month you have to plug in your portable music device into your computer to update licences, thus, if you cancel your subscription, the 10,000 songs on your dell or whatever just stop working. your locked into paying that monthly fee for ever unless you like the idea of your music to just stop working.

how can people actually like this subscription stuff?

settledown
Jan 25, 2005, 06:18 PM
All I can say is....


Bah!

verozov
Jan 25, 2005, 06:50 PM
personally, i also would rather buy my music and keep it forever. but i could certainly see how others might find the subscription method a better deal.

pay how ever much it is a year (let's just say $240) and you get to have an unlimited amount of songs, all being able to put on an mp3 player. with i tunes, for the same price, you could only have 240 songs for the whole year.

once again i definetly like the way itunes does things, but some people may not see it my way.

Mainyehc
Jan 25, 2005, 09:41 PM
Has anyone else noticed that Microsoft chose the name Janus--the two-faced god? Think there is future irony in that? Does PocketPC still make you WinCE?

Hmmmm... Even though Janus is a god's name, it reminds me a lot of a DOG's name ;)... Clarus, the ****ow!! :D

It's a lame name, for a lame idea. Or maybe it's a good idea, but I'm sure Microsoft's implementation of it will suck. And if it gains some traction, expect Apple to introduce a much better alternative that will destroy its competetion, a bit like what will be happening with the shuffle...

Oh, wait, I'm rejoicing about Apple having a monopoly... Now this is weird. It seems we're entering the Twilight Zone. Skyrocketing Apple shares, headless Macs, screenless iPods, monthly price drops... WTF is going on?

Anyway, back on the subject: I don't know if I would use such a service, but I probably wouldn't. I like to own my music, plain and simple. And even if I don't legally own it, I'm waiting for when I have enough money to buy it. I admit it openly, I use P2P a lot, but I also buy a lot of CDs, and especially, I go to a lot of concerts. That alone is enough for me to not feel guilty about downloading stuff.

I'm aware that what I'm doing is illegal, but, from my point of view, it isn't unethical (I can afford to do so since here in Portugal we don't have some entity like those RIAA bastards, so there's nothing to worry about yet). I WILL eventually buy most of the downloaded stuff I have on my music library (in fact I do buy some stuff I already have every now and then) so there's no way I'm wasting money on subscriptions, IMHO.

But different people have different needs, and if there's demand for such service, bring it on then! It's always good to have choice ;)

vollspacken
Jan 26, 2005, 05:15 AM
Janus-Schmanus...

as a previous poster has pointed out:
...people vote with their wallet

and therefore the people's choice is iTunes ...and NOT some shady subscription-based service like Napster ;)

vSpacken