Apple's Jobs still not keen on iTunes subscription service

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  • Reply 21 of 85
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by qmac73 View Post


    There is absolutely no way whatsoever that I am ever, EVER going to pay a subscription, Ever.



    But wouldn't you like to have the choice?



    People seem to be viewing music rental vs. purchase as an either/or, and I don't understand why. If just 5 percent of current iTunes music downloaders switch to a subscription service and like it, that tens of thousands happy iTunes users. That's a good thing, right?
  • Reply 22 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I see nothing wrong with subscriptions per se. But most people simply don't listen to different songs all the time. They want to listen to specific ones.



    Are you sure that that habit isn't just because they only have a limited amount of music? Wouldn't that habit change if the selection they can listen to is practically unlimited? I don't think that buyers are necessarily static, they might change their habits if what is available changes. For example, how people listen to music and sometimes even how much they listened often changed when music file players came about.
  • Reply 23 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by richieg261 View Post


    Napster-to-go is $14.99 per month. That is equivalent of 15 normal itunes downloads. If you download less than 15 tracks per month from iTunes, then it is more expensive, if you download more, then it is not. The long term cost argument is a myth if you look at it from the perspective "how much do I actually spend on music a month?". For most people who like music but do not download illegally, it is probably more than $14.99



    I buy what I want to listen to. If I'm not really interested, then I don't buy it. You can hear most stuff over the radio, either broadcast or internet.
  • Reply 24 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I buy what I want to listen to. If I'm not really interested, then I don't buy it.



    I don't understand this argument; are there people out there who will actively go and buy something that they are not interested in?
  • Reply 25 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Are you sure that that habit isn't just because they only have a limited amount of music? Wouldn't that habit change if the selection they can listen to is practically unlimited? I don't think that buyers are necessarily static, they might change their habits if what is available changes. For example, how people listen to music and sometimes even how much they listened often changed when music file players came about.



    I can't speak for everyone, but over the years one accumulates a lot of music.



    Most music offered on any music site will be noise to most people. It's only a very small percentage of it that will be of interest.



    I buy about 50 CD's a year. even if subscriptions offered equal quality (which is why I haven't bought anything from iTunes either), I don't know if it would be worth the bother.



    It's also the problem of what happens if you stop subscribing. That must be an important consideration. I assume that people want to listen to music their entire lives. so, if you leave a service after five years, after spending $600 or more, you come away with nothing.



    Yes, it's true that if you then subscribe to another service, ypu can get most of the same songs again. But what if you don't want to subscribe again? The money is gone. What if you want to play the songs over a different system? They often offer limited options for that.
  • Reply 26 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I buy what I want to listen to. If I'm not really interested, then I don't buy it. You can hear most stuff over the radio, either broadcast or internet.



    Both forms of radio are incredibly limited, I really don't think that's a good indicator of what's available.
  • Reply 27 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by richieg261 View Post


    I don't understand this argument; are there people out there who will actively go and buy something that they are not interested in?



    It's pretty simple. That's what you are doing with when you have a subscription. You are paying for all of the songs you don't listen to. and the ones that you do listen to go by by if you stop paying.



    The point is that all of the songs on these services hold no interest for most people, only a very small subset does. I buy that subset. I'm not interested in the rest.
  • Reply 28 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    It's pretty simple. That's what you are doing with when you have a subscription. You are paying for all of the songs you don't listen to. and the ones that you do listen to go by by if you stop paying.



    The point is that all of the songs on these services hold no interest for most people, only a very small subset does. I buy that subset. I'm not interested in the rest.





    But is the subset more than $15 per month to you? If it is then a subscription is a good alternative. What can you actually "buy" for $15?



    Problem is, I have used both forms, and realised that for heavy users, a subscription gives the consumer maximum choice. iTMS would be probably 100x more expensive than that of Napster if I used it to purchase the music.



    Get every album of every artist you like. Whack WMP on random. Listen to all the music you like, each day every day.



    Someone tells you to listen to a new band, straight on Napster, listen to the music, download if you like it for no extra cost.



    I feel like a winner. :P
  • Reply 29 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Both forms of radio are incredibly limited, I really don't think that's a good indicator of what's available.



    Not really. But the subscription services don't offer nearly the breath of selections that itunes does, which is now over 5 million songs. Most services offer about 2 million, though one here and there might offer more.



    And lest you think that enough, remember all of the times people complain about not being able to find something they want on itunes. Think about how bad that must be on a subscription site where there may be half the number of songs.
  • Reply 30 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by richieg261 View Post


    But is the subset more than $15 per month to you? If it is then a subscription is a good alternative. What can you actually "buy" for $15?



    No, it's not. The quality is not good enough. I don't particularly care that some people think it's wonderful, it's not, so it's of little value to me. The restrictions on what devices can play the music is more limited than iTune is.



    Overall, the bother isn't worth it to me.



    If you love it, that's fine, your needs are different.



    I don't care about the $15 a month, but some might, if they decide to leave subscriptions completely.
  • Reply 31 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Not really. But the subscription services don't offer nearly the breath of selections that itunes does, which is now over 5 million songs. Most services offer about 2 million, though one here and there might offer more.



    And lest you think that enough, remember all of the times people complain about not being able to find something they want on itunes. Think about how bad that must be on a subscription site where there may be half the number of songs.



    True. Two million or five million is still about 2-5 million more than most people can listen to, and seemingly 2-5 million more than most radio stations play. Radio plays such a tiny subset that it's not funny, and I don't think it's a decent sampling either.
  • Reply 32 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    No, it's not. The quality is not good enough.



    I reckon that if someone gave you an "Audio CD" (which cosmetically looks identical to a retail CD), which has had the original PCM audio compressed down to 192kb/s AAC and then converted back to PCM for playback, you would not have the faintest until someone told you.



    Anyway, getting off topic. I just hope Steve backs down on this, so I can move back to the iPod fold.
  • Reply 33 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by richieg261 View Post


    But is the subset more than $15 per month to you? If it is then a subscription is a good alternative. What can you actually "buy" for $15?



    Problem is, I have used both forms, and realised that for heavy users, a subscription gives the consumer maximum choice. iTMS would be probably 100x more expensive than that of Napster if I used it to purchase the music.



    Get every album of every artist you like. Whack WMP on random. Listen to all the music you like, each day every day.



    Someone tells you to listen to a new band, straight on Napster, listen to the music, download if you like it for no extra cost.



    I feel like a winner. :P



    For many of us, it's not the $15 a month. I spend a lot more than that per month.



    It's the perceived value. I don't find a subscription to be worth the $15 per month, but I do find the $60 per month I spend on Cd's to be a good value.



    My primary way of listening to music is not through a cheap pair of headphones, so no downloaded music is of value to me. I'm not the only one.
  • Reply 34 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    True. Two million or five million is still about 2-5 million more than most people can listen to, and seemingly 2-5 million more than most radio stations play. Radio plays such a tiny subset that it's not funny, and I don't think it's a decent sampling either.



    Except that people only consider that number when signing up. They only listen to a few thousand of those songs at best.



    If you don't listen to Rap, or Blues, or folk, or classical, or country, or jazz, or...well, you get it.



    Even if you listen to rock, you might not listen to the music of the '50's, or '60's, or '70's...again, you get it.



    Yes, when people first sign up, they listen to stuff they don't normally listen to because they...can!



    It's a big thrill, and exciting, until it becomes boring, and people release they are listening to stuff they don't really like.



    That's why there is such a high turnover in the subscription industry, why so many people leave after just a few months. They soon realise that most of the music doesn't interest them, and they listen to less, finally deciding they don't want to continue paying.



    I think that Jobs is correct. People want to feel as though they have control over their purchases, even if it costs more.
  • Reply 35 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Except that people only consider that number when signing up. They only listen to a few thousand of those songs at best.



    If you don't listen to Rap, or Blues, or folk, or classical, or country, or jazz, or...well, you get it.



    Even if you listen to rock, you might not listen to the music of the '50's, or '60's, or '70's...again, you get it.



    Yes, when people first sign up, they listen to stuff they don't normally listen to because they...can!



    It's a big thrill, and exciting, until it becomes boring, and people release they are listening to stuff they don't really like.



    That's why there is such a high turnover in the subscription industry, why so many people leave after just a few months. They soon realise that most of the music doesn't interest them, and they listen to less, finally deciding they don't want to continue paying.



    I think that Jobs is correct. People want to feel as though they have control over their purchases, even if it costs more.



    I can understand that. I would like to have the service available to me, even if I would only use it for a few months. I don't know how else I can get a fair sampling of what exists to know whether or not I would like something. I don't listen to radio, not only is it nasty with respect to ad overloading, the rotation pool of a given station is way too shallow. I don't think even a tiny fraction of my music was ever put on the radio.
  • Reply 36 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    But wouldn't you like to have the choice [of buying songs AND/OR subscription]?



    People seem to be viewing music rental vs. purchase as an either/or, and I don't understand why. If just 5 percent of current iTunes music downloaders switch to a subscription service and like it, that tens of thousands happy iTunes users. That's a good thing, right?



    BINGO! You hit the nail on the head!



    It's amazing how many people, if you simply whisper the word "subscription", freak out. They always assume that if Apple does subs, buying your music will go away as an option. That does NOT seem to be the case, as Apple would implement it, but ppl leap to that conclusion anyway.



    Look at my post... I took pains to say that Apple should offer subs ALONGSIDE their traditional 'buy the track' model, and the person replying to me still reacted like it was an 'either/or' proposition. People need to chill... adding subscription to the iTS would be a choice ENABLER, not a choice destroyer.



    .
  • Reply 37 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I can understand that. I would like to have the service available to me, even if I would only use it for a few months. I don't know how else I can get a fair sampling of what exists to know whether or not I would like something. I don't listen to radio, not only is it nasty with respect to ad overloading, the rotation pool of a given station is way too shallow. I don't think even a tiny fraction of my music was ever put on the radio.



    It's why I have nothing against the idea. I just don't find it to be useful.



    most internet radio stations have much more music, and either no ads, or fewer.



    But, most people listen to the top 40, and except for an occasional move beyond it, are happy with it.



    I would love to see the entire purchasing history of iTunes. Just how many of each song has been sold, not to each customer, though that would be interesting as well, but for the site itself, and when it first appeared on iTunes. That would give us a good idea of what many people actually care about.



    The same thing for subscriptions. What are people actually listening to?
  • Reply 38 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post




    But, most people listen to the top 40, and except for an occasional move beyond it, are happy with it.



    The top 40 is the Top 40 for a reason Mel, I'll grant you that.



    But, by the same token, there are plenty of people who'd rather be taken out back and shot than be forced to listen to nothing but top 40. Listen to one of the big, soulless pop FM radio stations for several hours in a row to get the full effect... it is painful.



    Some don't seem to have even 40 songs in their rotations... i.e. you can set your watch according to what song is playing.



    .
  • Reply 39 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    The top 40 is the Top 40 for a reason Mel, I'll grant you that.



    You mean like payola?
  • Reply 40 of 85
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    A music subscription service is not a good idea done wrong; it is a bad idea, period. The music-buying public cannot have been any clearer on the subject. They want to own their music. If there were some way to make a subscription service work, then someone would have done so. If Apple had some knowledge that escaped everyone else, then it would have implemented it. In doing so, it would have made the labels very happy and a lot of money for itself to boot. In not developing a subscription service, Apple is not leaving money on the table because there is no money on that table.



    So then, Einstein, if Apple DID have a subscription service, it would be great for only 10% of the market (if you are correct) but it would cost Apple hardly anything in infrastructure costs and you could still (like me) use the music-buying model. The labels would lose their major beef with Apple and as the person above stated, the Zune loses its one possible ace card.



    Why do people keep thinking that subscriptions would hurt anyone?! It is like people who are afraid that gay marriage will destroy the family. To think an iTunes subscription option would hurt the iPod is simply ideology, not rationality. If you don't want subscriptions, don't buy subscriptions!



    Personally I like buying music.
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