Newsletter #387 Preview: Do You Really Want to Rent Music?

April 30th, 2007

When Apple announced, during its session with financial analysts, that it would apportion income from the iPhone and Apple TV on a subscription basis, some folks started wondering whether they were planning on adding a subscription service to iTunes.

The answer is, of course, no. Apple’s public strategy, at least for now, isn’t changing. They took this action because certain unannounced free features are going to be added to Apple’s newest hardware products over time, so they can’t book all the income at once. I suppose accountants will want to weigh in on whether any of this makes sense, but I’ll give Apple the benefit of the doubt.

At the same time, Steve Jobs is quoted as saying that he still believes that people want to own their music, not rent it, but left the door open, telling Reuters: “Never say never, but customers don’t seem to be interested in it. The subscription model has failed so far.”

There’s also talk that the music companies are planning to push for an iTunes subscription service in their latest negotiations over contracts for the coming year. These are the pending deals that might also add DRM-free content from the rest of the majors in the industry.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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