April 27, 2007Subscriptions? Moi?
Steve Jobs has put the kybosh on rumours that Apple are considering a subscription service. He claims that the subscription model has failed so far because consumers want to own their music.
I disagree. Music is now a commodity and one of declining value, but people are listening to more of it than ever before. The subscription model is a natural fit for this type of behaviour and one of the main reasons it hasn't really taken off is the incompatibility with iPods. An Apple subscription service would change that.
Jobs likes to do things his way, but I think we'll see an iTunes subscription service before too long.
April 13, 2007Subscriptions and Apple Pie
It seems that Apple may be moving towards a subscription service, if the FT is to be believed. This would be another great leap forward, with the real possibility of transforming the digital music business. I've said before, once you use a subscription service it's difficult to imagine not having it, and if Apple throw their weight behind the concept it'll benefit not just Apple but everyone else in that space. Market growth for these companies is not about taking a bigger share of the subscription pie - right now what's needed is a bigger pie. An Apple pie, perhaps? (sorry)
April 6, 2007Zune changes its tune
This is funny. Is this the same Microsoft Zune that created a brand new DRM that only worked with Zune? The same Zune that's incompatible with its own 'Plays For Sure' standard? Anyone could see that Zune wasn't going to work while these ridiculous restrictions were in pace, but now Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp says "We've been saying for a while that we are aware that consumers want to have unprotected content."
Is this the start of a revisionist movement where everyone will try to claim credit for the removal of DRM? I'll be watching...
April 5, 2007Good news for subscriptions
MusicNet has reported that it is now serving nearly 7 million tracks per day, representing more than 100 percent growth over the first two months of 2006. They put this growth down to four trends:
Twice as nice
It just struck me that if iPod owners start to fill their players with higher quality tracks (bigger file sizes), then they'll fill them up quicker and will be more likely to upgrade to a new one.
Nice one Apple.
April 4, 2007Always use protection - unless you're a record label
Just pitching in on the Guardian's attack on Virgin Digital...
April 2, 2007Hooray for EMI
Is this the start of the next wave of digital music? EMI and Apple have announced that iTunes is to be the first music service to sell unprotected downloads, and EMI will open up the catalogue to other online retailers soon.
What I like about this - which Steve Jobs talked about in his recent open letter - is two things. First, EMI is opening up its entire catalogue, not just a selection as I'd expected; and second, they're upping the quality of the non-protected files. I guess the motivation behind this may be that it's a way to get people to pay more for them (they'll cost 99p instead of 79p), but I've often thought that quality was an angle that could be explored more fully so I'm pleased about this.