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View Full Version : Where Is Apple’s Rental Service for Music?


MacBytes
Jan 18, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Category: Tunes
Link: Where Is Apple’s Rental Service for Music? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080118144257)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

netdog
Jan 18, 2008, 01:46 PM
Never going to happen.

Jobs is right. People want to own their music. They listen to it over and over and don't want it to expire for any reason.

People watch movies once or twice.

Mudbug
Jan 18, 2008, 01:49 PM
My immediate reaction when I read the headline was "in the trash bin, where it belongs".

Rentals work for movies. Rentals don't work for music.

eric55lv
Jan 18, 2008, 01:52 PM
My immediate reaction when I read the headline was "in the trash bin, where it belongs".

Rentals work for movies. Rentals don't work for music.

Thats basically why everyone wantd to own there music not rent it like Steve says

Orng
Jan 18, 2008, 02:22 PM
Oh! Apple music rentals.. what a good question; why isn't Apple renting music...? They could use a subscription service modeled on one of the struggling services like Rhapsody or Napster, instead of mucking about and wasting time with that wildly successful little music store of theirs. Makes a lotta frikkin sense to me!

What else does this article say on the topic?

There is only one problem with this idea: Consumers haven’t been interested.

Dude, I think you've got this one figured out!

:cool:

TEG
Jan 18, 2008, 03:00 PM
NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN WANTS TO "RENT" MUSIC they want to own it. Anyone who rents music deserves it when their music diappears.

TEG

redfirebird08
Jan 18, 2008, 03:53 PM
You people do realize that subscription services like Yahoo and Rhapsody have REGULAR music stores, don't you? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having options. Rhapsody even gives a discount on the price for a purchase if you want to buy an album or a song. 10 cents off for a song, $1 off for an album. As I said, what the hell is wrong with CHOICE? Is this communism? Because that's what it sounds like the way Jobs and all his worshipers try to shout down subscription services. What in the hell would you lose if iTunes added a subscription service? Absolutely nothing! You would still be able to buy songs and albums just like now. I think people don't understand that it's not a "either/or" situation, you can have both. They can co-exist in the same store, just like they already do with Zune, Rhapsody, Yahoo, Napster, and on and on.

shamino
Jan 18, 2008, 03:54 PM
NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN WANTS TO "RENT" MUSIC they want to own it. Anyone who rents music deserves it when their music diappears.
Especially when it disappears because the company goes out of business, or because they decided to switch DRM service providers (http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/11/07/fans-shafted-as-major-league-baseball-revokes-drm-licenses/).

Of course, this is a problem with all DRM-protected content, not just subscriptions.

mrgreen4242
Jan 18, 2008, 04:07 PM
Never going to happen.

Jobs is right. People want to own their music. They listen to it over and over and don't want it to expire for any reason.

People watch movies once or twice.


NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN WANTS TO "RENT" MUSIC they want to own it. Anyone who rents music deserves it when their music diappears.

TEG

Don't think of it as renting music. Think of it as SAMPLING music. I'd love a subscription service that let me sample all the music music I want on my iPod and buy the ones I really live in a no-DRM format (like Rhapsody does, or at least used to do).

Also, I want TV show rentals! Or better yet, TV show subscription rental.

cwt1nospam
Jan 18, 2008, 04:18 PM
Because that's what it sounds like the way Jobs and all his worshipers try to shout down subscription services.
Nobody's trying to shout down the subscriptions services. We'd just like to shut up the idiots who claim that Apple needs to offer music subscriptions. If you want a music subscription service, choose one! Just don't tell us we're wrong for not wanting it, or Apple's wrong for not having it.

AlmostThere
Jan 18, 2008, 04:24 PM
Don't think of it as renting music. Think of it as SAMPLING music.
Or even renting an entire music library. You get any and all the music you want while you are paying your subscription.

The half-way house in my view is TV. Plenty of people already rent TV through cable and satellite, but this would make all content available on demand. Personally, I would certainly pay a subscription to have all the series of the Simpsons, BSG, Heroes and other quality content - stuff I have both seen and not seen but would never fork out for - available on demand. I am sure we all have stuff we want to watch. I think it is a small step from there to doing the same with collections of albums.

Also, this serves to introduce users to a rental service. No other music store has exposed rental services to the size of market that Apple can through iTMS and the iPod.

Music rental shouldn't be written off until the market has both matured and companies that have a proven record of taking existing ideas and doing them right and at the right time, like Apple, have demonstated what they can offer (if Jobs lets them try and figure it out).

rjfiske
Jan 18, 2008, 04:34 PM
The half-way house in my view is TV. Plenty of people already rent TV through cable and satellite, but this would make all content available on demand. Personally, I would certainly pay a subscription to have all the series of the Simpsons, BSG, Heroes and other quality content - stuff I have both seen and not seen but would never fork out for - available on demand. I am sure we all have stuff we want to watch. I think it is a small step from there to doing the same with collections of albums.



I'm with you on the TV subscription because as you mention, people are already doing that through cable. But the step from TV (or movies in iTunes' case) to music is anything but small.

I've used Netflix before, but never to watch the same movie twice. When I watch a movie, I'm done. Music on the other hand is enjoyed repeatedly. It's much more economical (for me) to rent the stuff I'm watching once and buy the stuff I'm using hundreds of times.

Even giving the users a choice between the two is a waste of Apple's time/money/resources in my opinion. Think of the agreements with the labels that would have to be redrafted, to say nothing of the software/hardware changes to support something like that. All for a model that the market has shown isn't popular among the music-buying crowd.

mrgreen4242
Jan 18, 2008, 05:28 PM
Even giving the users a choice between the two is a waste of Apple's time/money/resources in my opinion. Think of the agreements with the labels that would have to be redrafted, to say nothing of the software/hardware changes to support something like that. All for a model that the market has shown isn't popular among the music-buying crowd.

There's already plenty of standing arrangements with music studios covering rental/subscription deals. It just a matter of Apple telling the 5 or whatever major music labels "I want the deal they have" and them implementing it. It actually might be a good deal for them, since they currently don't make a whole ton of money on iTMS sales and instead use it to drive iPod sales, while these other services are (trying) to turn a profit on subscriptions Apple should presumably be able to either make money or offer the service cheaper than anyone else and in turn sell even more iPods.

They obviously have the software side of this more or less figured out (you can rent movies, should be fairly simple to extend this concept to music) and the delivery/sales method (iTunes) is in place. They could get away with onlu supporting "current" models with this, I think, and they wouldn't have to offer EVERY song for the service, just most of them.

rjfiske
Jan 18, 2008, 06:19 PM
There's already plenty of standing arrangements with music studios covering rental/subscription deals. It just a matter of Apple telling the 5 or whatever major music labels "I want the deal they have" and them implementing it. It actually might be a good deal for them, since they currently don't make a whole ton of money on iTMS sales and instead use it to drive iPod sales, while these other services are (trying) to turn a profit on subscriptions Apple should presumably be able to either make money or offer the service cheaper than anyone else and in turn sell even more iPods.

They obviously have the software side of this more or less figured out (you can rent movies, should be fairly simple to extend this concept to music) and the delivery/sales method (iTunes) is in place. They could get away with onlu supporting "current" models with this, I think, and they wouldn't have to offer EVERY song for the service, just most of them.

You might be right... but if this is the case, why is Amazon selling DRM-free music and Apple isn't? I'm certain that Apple has gone to the labels and said, "I want the deal they [Amazon] have" and the labels have been quiet on the matter.

Steve has mentioned that the people who use iPods want to play the music they already own. This is the majority of music that people listen to... the stuff they already own. The iTMS simply gives them an easy way purchase new music. Giving these users the ability to subscribe to new music AND rent music they already own is redundant and inefficient from a cost perspective (for the end user). Simply stated, people want to own their music. The market proves this.

And it also might have been true that at one time Apple didn't make money on iTMS, but I bet they make much more nowadays. Their initial fixed costs have already been recouped, I'm sure. They've sold 4 billion tracks. Even a small percentage of 4 billion is one heck of a number.

Sure they might have the software side more or less figured out... I have no doubt they can do it. But I'd rather they focus on something they are truly passionate about and believe in. Adding the restrictions that "it only works on these iPods" or for "these songs" would lead to further confusion/frustration on the customer's part.

And again if they did this the Apple way and it was perfect, I'm not convinced there'd be enough people like you who would jump to make it worthwhile to Apple. Just my opinion.

Flail
Jan 19, 2008, 09:24 PM
On one hand I would think Apple would not want to introduce a subscription model because not only have they disparaged the idea repeatedly in the past in addition to essentially designing the model for a profitable download service, but also would they worry about legitimizing competing subscription services? Granted, I understand the appeal subscriptions hold for some people, and I believe it would certainly not harm Apple to offer both plans, but it obviously is not harming them not to.

And on the other hand, I would think that the LAST thing competing services would want is Apple entering the subscription market. Do these services with their marginal players and their horrible user interfaces really want the customers in their niche of the music download market to look up one day and realize, "Hey, I could have my precious subscription music AND use the best music players and software in the industry?" Perhaps Mr. Cohen, the expert in the linked article, should be careful what he wishes for.

Also note that he thinks the subscription model would be best for the music industry. No mention of the consumer. As far as I'm concerned, the industry can shrivel up and blow away. Artists will continue to make music if there are no labels and people will continue to discover the types of music that appeals to them. It's a welcome inevitability as far as I'm concerned.

zap2
Jan 19, 2008, 10:10 PM
Its not coming


Personally I like to own all my stuff...since I only watch stuff I'm pretty sure I'll love....I rented 300, which was great...wouldn't mind owning, but since I've seen I'll buy it maybe when its really cheap.


But things like Star Wars, Xmen, SpiderMan, Childern of Men...I need to own those vs rentals of them

midget
Jan 19, 2008, 10:20 PM
I never thought of music renting until Jobs brought it up and even then I was like yea Steve I agree I want to own and keep it not have to keep buying it, but while we are also kind of on :apple:TV , about the movies I'd like to see also a "buy" option mainly for the back catalog > the new movies but since they get the new ones 30days after release(so says Jobs in the keynote) I don't see how this option would be a problem for anyone at least for the back catalog but that's my 2 cents on that, btw can't wait to get my :apple:TV which will probably next month

LethalWolfe
Jan 19, 2008, 10:33 PM
Is this communism?
No, I'm pretty sure it's capitalism.


Lethal

notnek
Jan 20, 2008, 01:01 AM
Dumb.

redAPPLE
Jan 20, 2008, 02:44 AM
You people do realize that subscription services like Yahoo and Rhapsody have REGULAR music stores, don't you? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having options. Rhapsody even gives a discount on the price for a purchase if you want to buy an album or a song. 10 cents off for a song, $1 off for an album. As I said, what the hell is wrong with CHOICE? Is this communism? Because that's what it sounds like the way Jobs and all his worshipers try to shout down subscription services. What in the hell would you lose if iTunes added a subscription service? Absolutely nothing! You would still be able to buy songs and albums just like now. I think people don't understand that it's not a "either/or" situation, you can have both. They can co-exist in the same store, just like they already do with Zune, Rhapsody, Yahoo, Napster, and on and on.

and in your opinion, that is why all the other online music stores are as successful as iTS?

Lord Sam
Jan 20, 2008, 07:20 AM
Personally, I would never use a music rental service, as Jobs said "People want to own their music". Having a movie rental system is a positive, but a music one would just stink. Who would use it? You listen to your favorite song tons of times, and imagine going on vacation with your iPod, only to have all your songs gone because your rental period has timed out? :confused: :apple: Forever!

mrgreen4242
Jan 20, 2008, 11:49 AM
and in your opinion, that is why all the other online music stores are as successful as iTS?

The success of a music sales method/format has nothing to do with the format/method itself, but rather with the ability of consumers to play the music back.

iTMS purchases only work on iPods, and (until recently) the only way to digitally purchase/rent music for the iPod was iTMS. iPods make up somethign like 75%+ of the PMP player market, so of course the store that caters to them, and also locks them into buying (online) only from them will be the most successful. It has nothing to do with iTunes and everything to do with the iPod.

As to everyone who wants to "own" their music and can't imagine why someone would want to rent it just stop trying to imagine it and accept that fact that there are people who want just that. You may not be one of them, but they're out there and you're lack of interest in the service has no effect on that.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that iTMS switch to a rental service exclusively, but merely that they, as iPod owners, would like the option to subscribe to a service like that.

shamino
Jan 21, 2008, 08:38 AM
iTMS purchases only work on iPods...
... and on computers running the iTunes application, and on any CD player (via CDs burned from the downloads) and any other portable device (also via those CDs)

(And the DRM-free tracks from iTMS will play on anything that supports AAC - including car stereos from Kenwood, Sony, Alpine, and many others.)
...and (until recently) the only way to digitally purchase/rent music for the iPod was iTMS.
Also not true. Even before Amazon, there were many sources for non-DRM music. Just not with much from major labels.

Please don't reinforce the false stereotype that iTunes/iPod is a closed system that forever makes you a slave to Apple. It was never true, and has been repeatedly disproven in countless forums.

Oklahoma Mike
Jan 25, 2008, 02:11 PM
Nobody's trying to shout down the subscriptions services. We'd just like to shut up the idiots who claim that Apple needs to offer music subscriptions. If you want a music subscription service, choose one! Just don't tell us we're wrong for not wanting it, or Apple's wrong for not having it.

Yes, people requesting a product they would like to pay for are idiots.

I completely agree that people often want to own a product and be able to do with it whatever they want. It's why I didn't previously purchase from the itms because I didn't want to pay for something with DRM on it. I like owning my music.

I also like owning my movies. I buy movies occasionally. You know what? I also like renting my movies. I don't really like renting one by one anymore, but you know what I do love? Netflix.

You know what I'd really love? Netflix for music. When I get a movie from Netflix I don't expect to own it. If I like it and want to own it I go buy it. Likewise back when I was a PC user I liked music rental. Sure, it was a lower bitrate than I encode to myself. Sure- there were limits on it. But I liked checking out new albums before I went out and bought them. I liked having a back catalog of things I listened to occasionally on hand whenever iI wanted. It was certainly worth the 10-15 bucks a month. Did I still buy CDs during that time? Sure. I have Netflix and still buy movies.

Why are none of the subscription stores successful? Well, they are just not as successful as the itms. I think the number 1 reason is the ipod. It's the number one player for a number of good reasons- and you can't use it with any of those services. Further itunes is in many regards a much better interface.

Why don't I choose one of those other products? Well, I like my mac (I could dual boot) but further I like my ipod. If my ipod could use music from subscription services would I? Damn skippy.


I tunes could easily implement subscription service- but there's really no big economic incentive for them to do so. It's not really needed to drive ipod sales as there aren't really competing products that are truly challenging the ipod (as improved as the zune is- it's market share is still tiny) Further- itms is starting to make apple some cash. And, it's more cash than they would make from a subscription service. There's little incentive for them to change.


That said, as a customer I will voice my opinion about additional features I want. Mr. Jobs- if you are listening. I'd buy a 160GB classic today if you'd put a higher quality audio chip in it. What's the point of the huge storage if everything sounds like it was a 128 bitrate mp3 regardless of file type and quality? If you were to implement a subscription service able to be used on an ipod I would gladly give you 20 bucks a month for such a service, assuming it provided access to at least 70% of your itms catalog. (and, if there were incentives to buying DRM free albums I'd do that too as long as the cost were less than or equal to buying the CD)
Oh, and as for movie rentals- Netflix is going to pretty soon have mac compatibility for their streaming movies with their service. If you offered a netflix type of product rather than a rental fee for each movie I'd be onboard with that. I'd buy an apple TV for that.

But, as is- I will keep using my old ipod nano. (thank you for the nike+ system it is excellent) I will use pndora, last fm, and other various sources on the internet to check out new music before I buy it. I'll buy CDs since they are typically cheaper than unrestricted files from itunes (and even less restricted)
I will use the mini dvi to s-video cable on my laptop to watch netflix films and continue to receive discs in the mail from them.
These options certainly aren't as nice as being able to have similar services available through Itunes, but they serve my needs better than any other currently available options. Were I able to get similar products all in itunes on my mac, streamed to an appletv easily I would gladly give you 30-50 bucks a month in subscription fees along with the occasional album purchase as well.

Thanks,
Michael

RRutter
Jan 25, 2008, 11:50 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Tunes
Link: Where Is Apple’s Rental Service for Music? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080118144257)
Description:: none

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Jobs said he "Went around and asked people if they wanted to rent. They said they wanted their own movies and music, but they don't watch movies over and over again. They watch it once, or twice at most. But they listen to their favorite song more than once. Introducing! Apple iTunes Rentals."

:apple:

Lord Sam
Jan 26, 2008, 06:57 AM
No one wants music rentals! My most played list on iTunes has songs which have been played over 200 times! Sure, this is throughout a period of 3 years, but still. Movie rentals have been proven popular in the physical world, so I can understand why they'll be popular in the digital world, but music rentals are a whole different thing. No way.

Oklahoma Mike
Jan 27, 2008, 01:01 AM
No one wants tapioca pudding! I ate chocolate 200 times last year, sure it was over a year but it just goes to show no one wants tapioca.

The fact that you don't want a product has absolutely nothing to do with whether other people do. Plus- I think a lot of people would be great candidates for music rental but don't really realize it. You for example. You've got possibly a few dozen songs that have been played hundreds of times and then how many songs that have been played less than 20 times in that same 3 year period? But didn't you pay for all of those songs? If you bought them from itunes, you paid the same price for those songs you listened to once or twice as those you listened to 200 times. If someone purchases 40 albums in a year and then only listens to a couple of them repeatedly they could rightly feel they didn't get their money's worth on a number of them.
So, instead of the 400 bucks you'd spend on those albums what if you could spend 160 bucks on a radio station that let you preview any new album, let you listen to any song on demand, and let you put any song you wanted on your ipod and then 40 bucks on the 4 albums you really like (or 40 singles you really like) and will listen to repeatedly. You'd spend half as much money for WAY more music- and you'd still own all of those tracks with a playcount of 200. In fact- if you're still subscribed you could have playcounts that high on other tracks as well.

Jobs said he "Went around and asked people if they wanted to rent. They said they wanted their own movies and music, but they don't watch movies over and over again. They watch it once, or twice at most. But they listen to their favorite song more than once. Introducing! Apple iTunes Rentals."
According to Apple research people seem to want to own their movies just as much as they want to own their music. But- since they can get away with renting instead of selling they will. This isn't an issue purely of customer desire- it's an issue of what can make the most money for Apple. Apple could pretty easily implement a subscription service. It just doesn't seem to make economic sense for them. It's rental like netflix, not renting one song at a time. Plus- you don't have to send the songs back like with netflix. It's basically like if Netflix said "we'll just send you a movie whenever you add it to your cue, you don't ever have to send back any movies as long as your a netflix member- you can have thousands out at a time if you want. If you end your subscription you have to send them back, but not until then."
It really is a good deal for a lot of consumers, just not with quite the profit margin for the distributor.