October 22, 2007Why not subscription?
Interesting to note that AT&T and Napster have done a deal to offer Napster's 5 million tracks to AT&T customers. It appears to be aimed at mobile customers which might explain why they're going with a download-to-own model, but surely there's an opportunity to offer a bundled subscription service for an extra $5 or $10 per month.
Maybe it'll follow later but as I've said before this is the real opportunity in music delivery.
October 10, 2007More momentum for music subscriptions
Tivo has announced a tie-up with Real Networks to make the Rhapsody Music Service available to anyone with a Tivo box and a broadband connection. The Rhapsody on TiVo service will cost $12.99 for TiVo subscribers, and be available at no additional cost to existing Rhapsody subscribers with broadband-connected TiVo boxes.
In a week when Ted Cohen argued that subscription services will win over a la carte purchasing, maybe this is one more step towards achieving traction. Two more things need to happen, however, before they'll really take off.
First there needs to be complete, seamless integration in the home between the set top box, TV, PC and sound system. This applies equally before digital distribution of film and TV can be successful. And second, the price will need to be absorbed into a total entertainment bundle from Sky, BT, Virgin Media or whoever. But it will happen, trust me.
October 1, 2007BBC buys Lonely Planet
I see that BBC Worldwide has bought travel guide publisher Lonely Planet. As someone who is currently working on a new business with some areas of crossover with BBC operations, I'm starting to understand why the commercial sector must resent BBC entering into so many diverse areas and bringing its inbuilt competitive advantage into play.
Now, I don't know enough about the commercial arrangement or indeed BBC Worldwide's funding to write with any authority, but jeez, if I was in the travel publishing business I wouldn't exactly be doing cartwheels today.