iTunes Subscription Speculation

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,544
9,363
Appleinisider speculates that Apple may be considering an iTunes subscription service based on the recent hire of Julia Miller who previously worked at Microsoft, helping coordinate XBox Live, an online subscription service.

Speculation of such an Apple branded subscription service persists in light of Napster's To Go model despite Apple's previous denials of such a service.
 

realityisterror

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2003
1,354
0
Snellville, GA
Steve has pointed out the downfalls of this system onstage several times before, but he did the same thing with the iPod Shuffle didn't he? Still, I don't predict it actually happening, but I can't say I wouldn't like the idea. $10 bucks a month? My iPod is supposed to carry 3700 songs, not 500 :p

reality
 

jcshas

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2003
391
278
I hope this is true! I for one, get bored with music pretty quickly - usually 2-3 listens and I'm ready to hear something new.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
i see apple having this as a backup for when/if the iTMS starts to drop in sales and what not, or if there becomes a huge demand for it by the users of the iTMS, but we will see where it goes, i dont see them coming out with it prematurely but see it as a possible eventuality if that is what the market demands
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Would be nicer if she worked on the struggling Apple gaming industry and got that relaunched as well she did for the XBox live.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Covering all bases is a smart move for Apple. They could delay the introduction of a music subscription service until they see their share slip. I think the most important decision is to license Fairplay to other mp3 player makers.

In the long run, about 10 years out, most of Apple's music profits will come from the online music store and not the iPod. Why? Eventually, the iPod coolness will wear off and the market will catch up and probably exceed the iPod in terms of ease of use, features and pricing.
 

~loserman~

macrumors 6502a
realityisterror said:
Steve has pointed out the downfalls of this system onstage several times before, but he did the same thing with the iPod Shuffle didn't he? Still, I don't predict it actually happening, but I can't say I wouldn't like the idea. $10 bucks a month? My iPod is supposed to carry 3700 songs, not 500 :p

reality
This has been discussed ad nauseam.
With most Macrumors users hating this idea.
Personally I think it's a great idea. Why not give iTunes users a choice?
If businesses don't give their users options then eventually they will lose customers.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
TS reports..

"Startup HipSolve Media is currently in talks with several companies who are interested in acquiring the firm, including Apple, which has made a $3.6 million offer to quietly take over the company, Think Secret has learned.

Founded nearly three years ago with the intention of reformulating how artists and labels distribute music, Vacaville, California-based HipSolve Media is the exclusive distributor of the iHoopla Label Edition solution. Launched in January, 2005, the Windows-based iHoopla offers music labels and publishers the ability to distribute their music directly to customers, complete with digital rights management, with a more favorable financial model.

"This makes it possible for content owners to take 100% control of their catalogs, keep 95% of their revenues and deposit online profits direct to their own merchant account in real time. There is no need to outsource digital distribution to current sites that want to split revenues. Taking control of how and when products are promoted, combined with robust back end tools, eliminates the headache and expense of hiring a web development team," the HipSolve Media Web site advertises.

Products like iHoopla are seen by some as the future of music distribution, eliminating costly distributors from the equation and providing labels with more control over their content.

Such a solution, if embraced by the larger record labels, could conceivably pose a major threat to online music distributors like Apple's iTunes Music Store by allowing labels to sell protected music direct to customers.

While sources were hesitant to say that Apple's interest in HipSolve primarily stems from curtailing the growth and usage of solutions like iHoopla, that could effectively be one outcome of bringing the product under the iTunes umbrella.

Sources close to HipSolve Media say a deal could be announced as early as next month, although it's unknown whether the firm is leaning towards joining Apple or another suitor."
 

~loserman~

macrumors 6502a
Lacero said:
Covering all bases is a smart move for Apple. They could delay the introduction of a music subscription service until they see their share slip. I think the most important decision is to license Fairplay to other mp3 player makers.

Not so sure about the Fairplay licensing. Apple doesn't make much off of thier iTUNES Music Store. Peter Oppenheimer told us when we were in Cupertino that Apple only makes a few cents profit per song sold. He said that the iTunes store was there to promote iPod sells.
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2002
1,927
96
San Diego, CA
A subscription-based "enhancement" to iTunes may be inevitable. IMO, the only thing that might cause the industry as a whole to reject music subscriptions is the copy protection weaknesses that are inherent in such services. Once the songs are physically present on your PC it becomes too easy to circumvent the copy protections that are supposed to limit how you share or maintain the subscription content. Yes, the same is true with iTunes' song-by-song purchases; however, with subscriptions users can rip off literally thousands of songs for very little money (or for free as was demonstrated recently with the Napster To Go service). This problem may eventually force the music industry to kill subscription-based access on the PC.

However, I think one of the main advantages of a subscription-based service is that it allows you to preview COMPLETE selections or CDs. This is one of the main shortcomings with the current iTunes, sometimes you can't tell exactly what you're getting based upon the 30-second preview (that's particularly true if you've never heard the song before, because you start to wonder what the entire song sounds like). Subscriptions would also allow you to preview a wider range of music (i.e. you can "discover" new songs or performers). Thus, I would actually like to see Apple offer a subscription service.
 

JohnGillilan

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2003
161
0
Los Angeles
My prediction / hope for the future:

Wireless/Satellite iPod + Subscription Service = entire iTunes catalog on-demand streaming straight to your iPod

"Hey, it could happen - McWoorrrllllddd"
 

pilzbury

macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2004
19
0
Reading, Pa
I hope it doesnt go all subscription based. I think that would stink. Maybe a option between both. Or something like that. But I think its stupid paying $10+ a month for music you will never actually own. I think thats what makes iTMS unique. You actually get something for your money. Your not throwing money down the tubes for music you will never get to keep if you ever decide to cancel your account. Like Napster. Hence probably why Napster hasn't done as well as iTMS.
 

macnews

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2003
601
2
Idaho
~loserman~ said:
Not so sure about the Fairplay licensing. Apple doesn't make much off of thier iTUNES Music Store. Peter Oppenheimer told us when we were in Cupertino that Apple only makes a few cents profit per song sold. He said that the iTunes store was there to promote iPod sells.
What do people NOT get about this. Say they are "only" making two cents "profit" per song. With 300 million songs sold, that means 6 million in profit. Now, profit is much different than revenue. So if they are truly making a "profit" of any sort, great. With expected downloads to increase, who would cry at any profit. Sure, it pushes iPods, but as market share increases you get in to economies of scale. The larger the market share iTunes comands means the more Apple can demand from the labels - or - since it is set up, expenses can decrease increasing the actual profit (profit=revenues-expenses).

Nothing wrong with adding a subscription model so long as it doesn't eat away at the profit. Let Apple make some profit on this. At least it isn't the Microsoft way of using a loss leader or just throwing money out the window to force people into submission.
 

24C

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2004
519
0
The only way this will happen is... Steve's getting so pissed by Napster's CEO comments and decides to blow him out of the water once and for all :D
 

Veldek

macrumors 68000
Mar 29, 2003
1,789
1
Germany
I find it a little far fetched, that only because someone is hired who had to do with a subscription model before, it is speculated about an iTunes subscription model.
 

freddiecable

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2003
634
156
Sweden
all alternatives are good, right?

hey - why not. as an alternative at least - that would not be that bad! I would rather own my songs though.
 

wilburpan

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2002
131
0
Here's a real Machavellian thought.

Apple could provide an iTunes subscription service, and make it very clear that with such an option, that you are really only "renting" the music obtained through iTunes-Subscription, and that when the subscription ends, you lose the songs that you downloaded through the subscription service, while keeping the songs that you bought for $0.99 through the regular iTunes store.

This would be a killer way to point out the major defect in subscription services, including Napster, without having to resort to negative advertising.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2004
1,191
0
LOST
~loserman~ said:
Personally I think it's a great idea. Why not give iTunes users a choice?
If businesses don't give their users options then eventually they will lose customers.
exactly.. some people don't want to rent thier music, and the itms fixed that. but, then again, some people do, and right now, they are going to napster. it couldn't hurt apple if they did it.
 
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