Steve Jobs: Customers Don't Seem Interested in Music Subscriptions

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Reuters reports on comments by Apple's Steve Jobs about the possibility of subscription-based music sales for iTunes.

According to Jobs "never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it". The article suggests that he is unlikely to give into pressure from record labels to offer a subscription model for music on iTunes.

The news comes as Apple begins re-negotiating contracts with the major record labels for the music content on iTunes. Despite recent rumors that Apple was seriously considering a subscription based model, Jobs insists that "people want to own their music." This has been a consistent stance for Apple since the launch of the iTunes store.

Meanwhile, Apple is expected to push for the elimination of digital rights management protections (DRM) on more songs. EMI and Apple first announced that EMI's catalog would become available on iTunes without DRM in May. According to Jobs the other music companies are "thinking very hard about it right now."

"We've said by the end of this year, over half of the songs we offer on iTunes we believe will be in DRM-free versions," Jobs said. "I think we're going to achieve that."
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
956
0
Daytona Beach
I want to own my songs. to me a subscription is throwing money away.Maybe if I downloaded more then a new song every day but I suspect most people don't.

Edit: it got fixed.
 

Lixivial

macrumors 6502a
What's interesting, too, is that a subscription method flies in the face of DRM-free music. Pretty counter to what Steve would like. If Apple were to go the subscription route, I could see the iTunes offering being as follows:

1. Lower quality, DRM'd "rented music."
2. DRM-free, higher price, higher bitrate music.

To me, I like iTunes just the way it is, and being able to keep my music is quite preferable to "renting it." Movies on the other hand...

EDIT: Need to clarify. Not my music, but the music which I choose to purchase.
 

donlphi

macrumors 6502
May 25, 2006
423
0
Seattle (M$ Country)
I agree with all the first two comments I read. I want to OWN my music. I'll listen to a song countless times. Movies on the other hand would be better off rented. I don't like the BUYING movie concept. You are going to watch a movie a few times max, and that MIGHT be in a 3 year time span.

MUSIC = BUY
MOVIES = RENT

Blockbuster got it right years ago. No need to try and reinvent the wheel.
 

Darkroom

Guest
Dec 15, 2006
2,448
0
Montréal, Canada
people who subscribe to online music stores don't own the music they download? i was under the impression that you pay a monthly fee and you could download as many tracks/albums as you wanted... :confused:
 

Darkroom

Guest
Dec 15, 2006
2,448
0
Montréal, Canada
Most of 'em require that you continue your subscription to keep your music alive. Quit paying, music goes bye-bye.
that's awful... i would never sign up for that... i'm surprised this is the way of online music subscription, and i'm surprised people actually subscribe... but i suppose that "Audio Hijack Pro" would come in handy with subscriptions...;)
 

bdj21ya

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2006
559
0
that's awful... i would never sign up for that... i'm surprised this is the way of online music subscription, and i'm surprised people actually subscribe... but i suppose that "Audio Hijack Pro" would come in handy with subscriptions...;)
I think that if they made subscription a part of iTunes, you would certainly see at least some upward shift in the number of people learning to use such programs/making similar free programs available that would better streamline the process of recording ("stealing") the "rented" songs.

This process is actually really easy to do on most Windows XP computers without special software, you simply select the stereo mix as the source (checkbox in the XP recording volume control panel) and record away. I thought it was interesting to see that this feature is not available in OS X, and even more interesting that you can't do it on a Mac running Windows either, at least using the audio driver provided by Apple.
 

TomSmithMacEd

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2003
350
0
Fargo, ND
I don't understand this forum's writers utter disliking of the subscription model.

Sure, it doesn't make sense for the masses, but it wouldn't harm anything having more choices for the consumer.

I'd maybe sign up for a subscription service if Apple did so. It'd be great to be able to download all these new albums that come out without any risk. Sure once I stop paying I don't have the music anymore but I also would have access to 3 million + songs at any time.
 

Will_reed

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2005
289
0
I agree with all the first two comments I read. I want to OWN my music. I'll listen to a song countless times. Movies on the other hand would be better off rented. I don't like the BUYING movie concept. You are going to watch a movie a few times max, and that MIGHT be in a 3 year time span.

MUSIC = BUY
MOVIES = RENT

Blockbuster got it right years ago. No need to try and reinvent the wheel.
This is only because this is the type of person YOU are.

Remember this it's important. I prefer to own my movies If I suddenly feel like watching a movie 2 months from now I have to pay out cash again to see it full price for a rental when I maybe only want to see a clip of it like 15 mins worth.

I will rent movies but I much prefer to own them.
 

D3LM3L

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
122
0
Detroit
Yeah, right

This only means that iTunes will have a subscription-based service!

Prior to the video iPod's launch, Steve said the same thing about watching videos on a mobile device- pointless and hard to do.

And the Leopard delay? It was firmly denied just weeks before they announced it. I highly doubt it was that sudden.

You heard it here first! :rolleyes:
 

killr_b

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2005
816
330
Suckerfornia
Screw subscription service.

People that dumb should be using Vista… bwahahahaha!

No, seriously, think about it. If you can't pay just one month, you can't listen to any tunes that month. :eek:

donlphi said:
MUSIC = BUY
MOVIES = RENT

Blockbuster got it right years ago. No need to try and reinvent the wheel.
That's what I'm talkin' about…
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
I don't understand this forum's writers utter disliking of the subscription model.

Sure, it doesn't make sense for the masses, but it wouldn't harm anything having more choices for the consumer.

I'd maybe sign up for a subscription service if Apple did so. It'd be great to be able to download all these new albums that come out without any risk. Sure once I stop paying I don't have the music anymore but I also would have access to 3 million + songs at any time.
Renting would require draconian DRM and limits on how many iPods you could sync.

Subscriptions are incompatible with the following:
-DRM free music
-Being able to use songs in your iLife projects.
 

Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
2,870
4,447
I really would like a subscription model. If it was £9.99 a month for unlimited music downloads I would sign up instantly. Sure you don't "own" the music but I only play them via iTunes and my iPod so I wouldn't mind and I love to download so much music that buying it all just costs to much.

I would really like a Subscription, I don't see why Apple wont give users choice it's not like by giving Subscriptions they automatically take away purchasing they could have both and give consumers what they always want, choice.
 

Lixivial

macrumors 6502a
... I don't see why Apple wont give users choice ...
The article covers this. Apple don't see any financial gain or overwhelming interest in subscription models. And let's face it, the poster boys for this method haven't exactly been having their wallets explode with income.

Choice is great, choice is wonderful, and choice is desirable, but if Apple don't see the financial gain they won't implement it. Remember that Apple likely have to invest money into expanding their DRM scheme to accommodate subscription models, and if there is no overwhelming interest, then they will not do so.

And, again, there's the Steve Jobs factor. He doesn't want DRM'd music, and implementing this would be going opposite to his direction. Not an effective way of getting things done at Apple.
 

siurpeeman

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2006
6,311
18
the OC
having a subscription wouldn't stop me from buying music. it would just allow me to sample a lot more music, and i would buy things that i really liked. could it really hurt to have a subscription model in addition to the pay per song/album model?
 

rlreif

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2003
142
0
Vancouver
I don't understand this forum's writers utter disliking of the subscription model.

Sure, it doesn't make sense for the masses, but it wouldn't harm anything having more choices for the consumer.

I'd maybe sign up for a subscription service if Apple did so. It'd be great to be able to download all these new albums that come out without any risk. Sure once I stop paying I don't have the music anymore but I also would have access to 3 million + songs at any time.
im with you dude
im coming around to the subscription model... at first i wasnt when it was only mainstream crap online, but if i can have access to everything at once, its worth $10/month... thats like buying one new album per month, or 2 beers and a chintsy tip at a bar... i think its actually 4 million songs on itunes now

with a 3g phone with zero storage, you could carry around every song on itunes (on demand)

Screw subscription service.

People that dumb should be using Vista… bwahahahaha!

No, seriously, think about it. If you can't pay just one month, you can't listen to any tunes that month. :eek:



That's what I'm talkin' about…
are you really that poor??
you use a mac and live in thousand oaks!!!
how much is rhapsody? $10/month? $15?? come on!
for the price of one new album per month you can access to all of it... i dont believe you buy music if you are that poor
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,610
408
Redondo Beach, California
If I suddenly feel like watching a movie 2 months from now I have to pay out cash again to see it full price for a rental
We are talking about subscription not rental. With a subscription you pay a flat monthly fee and after that you could watch any film they had as many times as you want. It is just as if you owned the entire iTune catalog, until you cancel the subscription. If would work just as you describe except you would not need to have a pie of disk in your house. Which is best them depend on price and how many you currently buy I never watch movies or TV so I'd not be a potential customer.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,516
3,988
Space--The ONLY Frontier
Having a subscription service that causes music to be unplayable upon ending service only promotes stealing music.

I see nothing wrong with charging more for higher quality DRM-free music that one buys from online services.