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Old Nov 2, 2005, 12:28 AM   #1
paulwesley
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Music: Rent vs. Own? Why not Rent-to-Own!?

If iTunes lets you buy and own your music, and Napster/Yahoo/etc let you rent it... Why can't we have the best of both worlds and have a Rent-to-Own subscription option? For instance...

Say you pay $10 a month to subscribe, as with Napster, giving you access to the whole collection of music. But some portion of that fee, say half ($5) gets banked in store credit which you can then use to buy songs that you then own and can keep if/when you cancel your subscription.

This would provide the buyer with the chance to listen to all kinds of music with the reassurance that she is not totally locked into using the system forever (if she wants to have anything to show for the money she's spent). The seller would benefit because more people would be willing to subscribe, and they would gain the predictability and steady income that comes with the monthly rate.

This would be a way of making the subscription model more appealing, in light of its current unpopularity. It makes sense, since out of all the music you can listen to on Napster, you would only find so much a month that you would want to keep listening to over the long-term. The seller would be banking on people getting used to, hooked on, listening to anything in the collection, so that they would not drop the subscription. It would make it much easier for people to get into the subscription model/habit.

The kicker would be what percentage of the monthly fee would translate into store credit...

Might not be a bad option for Apple if they ever start feeling the heat from the subscription folks...
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 12:54 AM   #2
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Sounds cool, but $10 a month is too much for me, and 50% rent-to-own is probably too much for Bronfman.

$5/month, 5% (25 cents) rent to own. I'd do that. You could even scale it, so if you pay $10/month, it's 20% rent to own. My fear of rental programs is you stop subscribing, and you have nothing to show for it. You're stuck in a loop of monthly payments. Rent to own would, even at a small percent, would make renting more appealing.

Music has becoming a commodity. It's cheap to produce, and the stand-out-hit is rare. Once the industry realizes this they can do something to quell declining sales.
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 01:04 AM   #3
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At this point napster and yahoo appeal to a very tiny market segment. Those people starting from scratch and listen to lots and varied music all the time. If you are like 98% of the rest of the population you have a much smaller musical interest. For most people iTunes, Amazon, best buy, and wallmart are much better options for the majority of users.

Don't forget that there are large sections of the napster and yahoo music collections that are off-limits to the unlimited subscriber. Kinda blows once you figure that out!
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 01:47 AM   #4
deanbo
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Rent to Own?

For a start, it's 99c a song. Secondly, it's 99c a song. Thirdly...
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 02:25 AM   #5
ctsport1234
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I personally would never "rent" anything if I had the option to buy.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 02:59 PM   #6
e-coli
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As a person who has dabbled with Napster for some time, I have to say, it's really the only logical way to enjoy music. It's not about "having" a song, it's about being able to ANY song on cue. You can listen to crap you would never buy, just because someone at your house said "hey do you remember that song...". Bingo, you can download and listen to the song. Or what if you want to have an 80's party. Wham. You've got it, and you're only out the price of 1 CD.

I buy about 2 CD's a week. So it seems only rational to do it the subscription way.

Just MHO. And I do still use iTMS.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 03:07 PM   #7
zap2
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if you rent and owned it i would have to say the Music Company's would raise prices!


I would not mind have an ITMS that you could buy any song at 99c or rent for like 10 a month. Ever one would win.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 03:07 PM   #8
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i rather purchase the music....forget that renting stuff. 99cents per song is good enough for me.

Nuff.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 08:49 PM   #9
MarkMarc
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I just don't understand the logic of renting music. Being in my 40's, I'm grateful to still have most of the music I bought in high school. That will never happen with Napster, because at some point they will fold or be bought out and the agreement will no longer be in force.

Ownership means control.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 09:40 PM   #10
BlueT
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Explain to me how you "own" the music? If you stop using iTunes, you can't use it. If you take it to a friend's house who doesn't use iTunes, you can't use it. You can't make copies to use in your CD player (unless it's connected to your computer that, once again, uses iTunes). And God forbid if you can't stand iTunes (I'm still waiting for a decent music player for use on an Apple).

Keep feeding a machine that's setup to rip off the consumer. I'll keep buying CDs until a more equitable solution finally rears its head.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 09:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueT
Explain to me how you "own" the music?... You can't make copies to use in your CD player...
Yes you can. Fairplay lets you burn regular music CDs that will play on any CD player.
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 02:35 PM   #12
e-coli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueT
If you take it to a friend's house who doesn't use iTunes, you can't use it.
EXACTLY. That's the beauty of Napster. You can log into your account from anywhere and you have all of your songs, all of your playlists, etc. No need to carry your music around, or worry about backups, etc. Your music is everywhere there's a computer. Sort of like webmail or your .mac address book.

Don't get me wrong. I love the simplicity of iTMS. I'm just saying, there are some benefits to other services that shouldn't be discounted. Even some features I wish they would incorporate into iTMS.
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 03:44 PM   #13
Jopling
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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueT
Explain to me how you "own" the music? If you stop using iTunes, you can't use it. If you take it to a friend's house who doesn't use iTunes, you can't use it. You can't make copies to use in your CD player (unless it's connected to your computer that, once again, uses iTunes). And God forbid if you can't stand iTunes (I'm still waiting for a decent music player for use on an Apple).

Keep feeding a machine that's setup to rip off the consumer. I'll keep buying CDs until a more equitable solution finally rears its head.
Last I checked, you can definitely burn an unlimited amount of cd's from iTunes of songs you have purchased through the iTMS. I do this on a weekly basis. When was the last time you used iTunes?
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