MS prepares Music Store alternative

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Although I'm not sure if MS' continued approach with subscription based fees will succeed. Then again, they've got so much clout, they may pull it off if the price is right.



Perhaps Apple should move a tad quicker and make it's Music Store available to PC users. This would entrench it as the standard and certainly bring in greater revenue from the other 97%.





http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-1009794.html?tag=fd_top
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    fred_ljfred_lj Posts: 607member
    RENTING music? Give me a break, only PC-freaks will think that's an optimum path.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    i was fine until i read this gem:



    Quote:

    But Microsoft is betting that new security enhancements planned for later this year could make renting music, rather than owning it, more attractive to consumers.





    cue the coffee out the nose.



    Microsoft != security



    rental fee paid to MS != more attractive to consumers
  • Reply 3 of 29
    baumanbauman Posts: 1,248member
    And they are trying to add processing power to mp3 players and the like so that songs will die after 30 days or whenever you need to re-rent your music.



    I don't see how this is more attractive... Apple's solution just seems to make sense... no more than 10 times on the same playlist? OK, I can do that. Only three computers? Sure, that's reasonable. (I'm fairly certain my numbers are right, but whatever they are, they aren't cramping the way I use music FOR MYSELF!)



    Now, renting music? That's just rediculous!
  • Reply 4 of 29
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    Don't see how it is more attractive? Let me quote the slashdot article that posted Microsoft's music thing:



    "Of course it will expire once you stop paying the sub fee, but which do you think is the better deal: $7500 to fill a 30GB player (7500 songs at $1 each) with iTunes Music Store, or $120 a year with the ability to swap in new music whenever you want? How much is it worth to you to "own" the bits?" "



    So it's probably not $7500 but you get the point. If microsoft does it right, it could pose quite a threat.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by chych

    "Of course it will expire once you stop paying the sub fee, but which do you think is the better deal: $7500 to fill a 30GB player (7500 songs at $1 each) with iTunes Music Store, or $120 a year with the ability to swap in new music whenever you want? How much is it worth to you to "own" the bits?" "



    A fair amount for me, and surely many others, just as there are many others who only wnat top 40 flavor-of-the-week stuff. The biggest problem in this case is that it's not a simple either-or blanket decision for all consumers, just like online music in any form isn't for everyone either, and shouldn't try to be. MS, Apple, Amazon, the record companies and the artists all have to realize this. Problem is, knowing most of those mentioned, this flexibility will either be limited for consumers to appeal to the bottom line, or complicated enough to confuse consumers and alienate them even more. Everyone is looking for *the* answer, and that's a real problem.



    PS: this is part of the age-old argument that computer geeks can't seem to grasp too well. Is a greater up-front cost worth more subsequent flexibility, i.e., does it pay for itself? Or is cheaper always cheaper at a given moment?
  • Reply 6 of 29
    ahboahbo Posts: 37member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by chych

    Don't see how it is more attractive? Let me quote the slashdot article that posted Microsoft's music thing:



    "Of course it will expire once you stop paying the sub fee, but which do you think is the better deal: $7500 to fill a 30GB player (7500 songs at $1 each) with iTunes Music Store, or $120 a year with the ability to swap in new music whenever you want? How much is it worth to you to "own" the bits?" "



    So it's probably not $7500 but you get the point. If microsoft does it right, it could pose quite a threat.




    I read that on Slashdot and I strongly disagree with it. It's easy to make a statement like that, and the math seems to work out. But it's a very nearsighted way of looking at things. Think of the longterm.



    Sure, the rental model is fine for things like movies. You rent 30 movies a year from blockbuster, you give them back. It's fine. You don't watch the same movies every day. You watch them once and move on. Some movies you buy.



    Music is different. The albums you buy today, you'll likely still want to listen to 5 years from now. 10 years from now. 20 years from now. Does this work? What if 5 years from now you want to unsubscribe from Microsoft's service? Do you keep yourself chained to it for life?



    They reel you in by telling you it's $120/year. It's just like TV cable, they tell you. Problem is, 10 years from now, after you've paid $1000 in cable TV fees, you don't care about not owning episode #121 of Friends. But 10 years from now, after you've spent $1000 on a music service, you will probably want to keep dozens of your favourite albums. You'll still want to listen to them every day.



    Music is made to be owned, not rented. People will catch on to this.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I think music rental can work, just with longer rental times, or even a "new music tuesdays" kind of thing. As you said, it's like DVD sales and rental: both work, and everyone is happy with it. While you don't usually listen to music in one sitting, and it's probably a smaller market then DVD rental, it's probably a cheap alternative for users and companies so why shouldn't it complement "offline" and online music sales? IMO, Amazon is in the best position to score the "trifecta" of a one-stop shop for CD purchases, online buying and renting. While Apple might ave a wait and see approach to rental, which would be prudent given that they're already exposed with iTMS as-is, they could probably tie into amazon with physical CD sales, essentially getting royalties off of click-through CD sales added to iTMS, and eventually allow a simple blanket cost of limited rentals. Ther are other Amazon perks I'd like to see added to iTMS anyway.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    frawgzfrawgz Posts: 547member
    Applying a subscription-based model to something that isn't constantly streaming to you is counterintuitive. Cable TV is constantly being streamed to you, so you feel that the monthly fee you're paying is allowing you to is actually getting you something, in terms of getting something new at any given moment. Even if you're not watching it.



    Satellite radio is the same - a subscription model would work there.



    However, recorded music (making the distinction between records and radio) is different. It's more or less discrete. How would you like to buy a bed under a subscription model? Sure, you can switch it out and get a new one any time you want and thus get, in retail terms, thousands of dollars worth of bed usage, but if you tire of this and quit paying, you're without a bed all of a sudden.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    salmonstksalmonstk Posts: 560member
    MS wants to do rental not because people want it- but it means constant stream of payments like Windows. They do not want to have to compete. No one wants reantal but MS can force it just as they have done with every other product.



    And after 2 years you have been renting music, you have all your songs, playlists etc. If they decide to screw you then- too bad. You stop paying you loose your music. I bet Bill sprung one when he realised what this could mean for revenue.



    Forgive my crude language- but they just get my goat.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by frawgz

    However, recorded music (making the distinction between records and radio) is different. It's more or less discrete. How would you like to buy a bed under a subscription model? Sure, you can switch it out and get a new one any time you want and thus get, in retail terms, thousands of dollars worth of bed usage, but if you tire of this and quit paying, you're without a bed all of a sudden.



    This is not an uncommon model, at least outside the US. It's not even that rare here - you can rent and lease furniture from several places in town here.



    It's attractive to business because the revenue stream is consistent. Its attraction to consumers would be based on rethinking the way people have traditionally listened to music (in other words, I don't think there is much of an appeal for consumers).



    But make no mistake: The push toward this sort of model comes from the bean counters. The traditional idea of a purchase being a discrete and absolute transfer of ownership looks much less attractive than the idea of a purchase being a reliable and constant hook into someone's wallet. The fact that the payment is made over time makes some things more accessible to e.g. the poor, but it also chains them to a commercial provider.



    More to the point, the only way a rental scheme will work is if Microsoft's omnipresent DRM scheme is active. The much-touted advantage of digital in the recording industry is that once you have the bits, you have them, and you can copy them freely and without source degredation. With digital distribution, this advantage comes to the consumer space. The only way to get around that is to construct a comprehensive subsystem designed to regulate your access to them. The advantage to Apple's scheme is that it more naturally fits with the simple fact that once you download a song, you have it. Rather than explicitly permit the burning of songs to a CD, Apple merely has to not prohibit it. A rental scheme would have to impose some illusion that the bits were a concrete thing that could be given and taken back, like a DVD or a couch. And that's exactly what MS' Next Generation Double Plus Good Security System will accomplish. This is something that the publishers have pushed hard for: The idea that IP must be treated as if it were a concrete product, and that purchases merely represent a highly restricted form of licensing that still leave the publisher in control. (I need hardly add that the consumer has not been considered here, except as a revenue source.)
  • Reply 11 of 29
    xmogerxmoger Posts: 242member
    It's all in the pricepoint and how much you listen to music. Just listening to the top 40 would be better for subscription, since you don't listen to most songs for long periods, and you'd have access to the whole library. People with more specific tastes would probably save money buying their favorites.



    There's nothing stopping a company from both selling and leasing once ms updates their DRM. Does apple's DRM offer protection/expiration on the ipod?
  • Reply 12 of 29
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    This is not an uncommon model, at least outside the US. It's not even that rare here - you can rent and lease furniture from several places in town here.



    Of course, consumer rent-to-own businesses are dirty outfits, they just take advantage of the poor and ignorant. So while I think there's room for a rental model, it could just be another sucker's market as MS probably hopes or assumes most people are in.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    $7500 if you always by single tracks.



    if you are buying whole albums at $10 a pop....and they might have more than 10 tracks on them, then it's a whole different story on how much money you are spending to fill a 30 gig.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    liquidrliquidr Posts: 884member
    music rental??? WTF, Who gave Bill Gates the crack pipe???
  • Reply 15 of 29
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Interesting comments from all. However, instead of watching what MS will do, should Apple not be even more proactive and look to secure this market by quickly updating their service?



    The key points are to make it PC compatible, and to offer it worldwide (not just the U.S.) Yes, I know there are lots of logistics involved and I'm sure (I hope) Apple is working quickly on this matter.



    And to further add a nail to MS' coffin, drop the price per song to 75 cents the day MS launches their service.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    thegeldingthegelding Posts: 3,230member
    i agree...i always thought the sweet spot in the price point was 75 cent for one song, or 2 for a dollar, or 7.99 for an album...it will flow and change and all be good...but apple must quickly ramp up to pc users (and also international, but pc first....sorry world)





    ps...i am now over 150 songs purchased..ouch...my brother didn't help yesterday as he first heard of the system and asked me to look for two albums he is always looking for and can never find...i found one of the two and downloaded it for him and burned him a cd...a rare, hard to find cd for 10 bucks...sweet





    g
  • Reply 17 of 29
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Not all albums are $9.99 on iTMS. I just picked up New Order's Low-Life for something like $7.50.



    Perhaps their pricing scheme is getting a little more sophisticated? There are only 8 songs on the album, which might have something to do with it.



    As for Apple's DRM, I don't think there's any provision for expiration built into it. I don't see why there should be, either. I could imagine paying for a user customizable streaming music service - like radio, only ad free, tweakable to individual taste, and not homogenized by Clear Channel and corrupted by the indies. Like radio, I could record the songs off the stream if I wanted to. Like radio, they'd be compressed enough it would sound like I had taped them off the radio, so there would still be an incentive to go and buy the recordings. Unlike radio, the player would keep track of what was being streamed, so that if I heard a song I really liked I wouldn't have to wait for the DJ to mention the names of the song and the artist (if they actually did!). This arrangement is both intuitive, in that it functions like a familiar service (radio) only better, and a natural use of available technology: Low-bandwidth AAC-plus would allow reliable streaming even over slow or clogged connections (and from swamped servers), and it would also naturally limit the appeal of simply recording the stream as a substitute for buying music without requiring some Draconian DRM scheme. "Allowing" the stream to be recorded simply means that Apple doesn't have to figure out how to prevent it from being recorded.



    Heck, Apple could probably just tweak iTunes to stream at a lower bitrate over the 'net, and that would automatically reduce the appeal of those programs that "rip" streams.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    thegeldingthegelding Posts: 3,230member
    true....it will grow and change...i noticed many albums for less than 9.99 if they have fewer songs than 10...i also got a album with only 5 songs and it was 9.99...but that was cool since i couldn't find it anywhere and at amazon it was 25 bucks (when it comes in...if ever)...i still think iTMS will rule if it goes for older and out of print stuff...there is a huge market for this and it will cost the record companies next to nothing to "re-release" an out of print record for download only...the record company makes money on songs in its catalog without having to press cds and make labels etc and apple gets what amounts to exclusives...it is a great win win situation





    g
  • Reply 19 of 29
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Of course, consumer rent-to-own businesses are dirty outfits, they just take advantage of the poor and ignorant. So while I think there's room for a rental model, it could just be another sucker's market as MS probably hopes or assumes most people are in.



    Exactly.



    I'm in favor of absolute ownership whenever possible. It's just that the absolute ownership model doesn't look as good to the bean counters.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by thegelding

    true....it will grow and change...i noticed many albums for less than 9.99 if they have fewer songs than 10...i also got a album with only 5 songs and it was 9.99...but that was cool since i couldn't find it anywhere and at amazon it was 25 bucks (when it comes in...if ever)...i still think iTMS will rule if it goes for older and out of print stuff...there is a huge market for this and it will cost the record companies next to nothing to "re-release" an out of print record for download only...the record company makes money on songs in its catalog without having to press cds and make labels etc and apple gets what amounts to exclusives...it is a great win win situation



    And the consumer gets access to the 80%(!) of all recorded music that is currently out of print. So it's a win-win-win situation.



    There are lots and lots of great albums out of print, especially in jazz. I'd love to see Lalo Schifrin's tribute to the Marquis de Sade back in print, or The Individualism of Gil Evans.
Sign In or Register to comment.