Apple's Jobs still not keen on iTunes subscription service

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 85
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post




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



    I agree except I'd add ... "People want to feel as though they have control over their purchases, ieven if it costs more, except for a few who don't and for those who want to dabble once in a while."



    Again their is no real reason why Apple can't have parallel purchasing models. It would make keeping track of rented vs. bought songs a little more difficult (yet just put them in italics in the library for Pete's sake) for those few who would like both in their libraries, but that would be up to them to deal with if they did so. It might cause some perception problems, but no real problems in the iTunes marketplace.



    Just trying to separate perception from reality here. They are not always the same.
  • Reply 42 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    You mean like payola?



    Well, yeah. But also, the extremely poor musical taste of much of the American public.



    I remember telling friends the INSTANT Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, Michael Bolton, and Celine Dion hit it big that said acts were either grossly overrated or outright sucked. The pattern repeated itself again and again and again:



    Me: What are you doing listening to that? It sucks!

    Friends: Whaddya mean, they suck?!? They're great, and everyone else thinks so too! You're the one with the problem.



    Of course, two years later, they're disowning said talentless hack along with everyone else, and claiming they 'always' hated them. Go figure.



    .
  • Reply 43 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    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.



    .



    I agree with all of that. I'm one of those people. But the majority are not, and that's why that format is successful, and has been ever since radio started up early in the last century.
  • Reply 44 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    You mean like payola?



    Well, the concept of the Top 40 isn't due to that, even if some of the songs played were.
  • Reply 45 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post


    I agree except I'd add ... "People want to feel as though they have control over their purchases, ieven if it costs more, except for a few who don't and for those who want to dabble once in a while."



    Well, yes, of course. I'm just talking in the general sense.



    Quote:

    Again their is no real reason why Apple can't have parallel purchasing models. It would make keeping track of rented vs. bought songs a little more difficult (yet just put them in italics in the library for Pete's sake) for those few who would like both in their libraries, but that would be up to them to deal with if they did so. It might cause some perception problems, but no real problems in the iTunes marketplace.



    Just trying to separate perception from reality here. They are not always the same.



    I agree with you. I never said they couldn't. As I said, I have nothing against the idea. I just don't think it will be as popular as some think.
  • Reply 46 of 85
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post


    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. ...



    Since modern physics seems to be over your head, let's go with Nobel Prize winner in economics, Milton Friedman. Let the market decide. Up to this point, the market has chosen purchasing over renting music. Apple's was not the first online music store, it was just the first to be a financial success. Instead of whining, pleading, persuading, preaching, and generally flapping your jaw, hold out a dollar bill. If there is money to be made renting music, then come along to accept your money.



    The Nobel Prize winners have their theories, but we have an old saying in the 'hood--Money talks, B.S. walks.
  • Reply 47 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Instead of whining, pleading, persuading, preaching, and generally flapping your jaw, hold out a dollar bill.



    What is your suggested means of implementing that metaphor?
  • Reply 48 of 85
    (Apr 27, 2007)

    You can view it now on Youtube:

    Two Apples on Youtube!

  • Reply 49 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Since modern physics seems to be over your head, let's go with Nobel Prize winner in economics, Milton Friedman. Let the market decide. Up to this point, the market has chosen purchasing over renting music. Apple's was not the first online music store, it was just the first to be a financial success. Instead of whining, pleading, persuading, preaching, and generally flapping your jaw, hold out a dollar bill. If there is money to be made renting music, then come along to accept your money.



    The Nobel Prize winners have their theories, but we have an old saying in the 'hood--Money talks, B.S. walks.



    I don't know that that line of reasoning proves much here. Did the 'pay for music' model do better because it was inherently superior, or did it win out because iTunes and the iPod (and the integration between the two) were simply better than the competition & whatever music purchase model Apple had favored would've won out anyway? Makes you wonder.



    In any case, and as others have noted, it is NOT an 'EITHER/OR' choice. Subs and straight-up music purchases can co-exist happily in parallel on the iTunes Store, just as apparently 99 cent DRM dloads and $1.19 DRM-free dloads will shortly.



    .
  • Reply 50 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    I don't know that that line of reasoning proves much here. Did the 'pay for music' model do better because it was inherently superior, or did it win out because iTunes and the iPod (and the integration between the two) were simply better than the competition & whatever music purchase model Apple had favored would've won out anyway? Makes you wonder.



    In any case, and as others have noted, it is NOT an 'EITHER/OR' choice. Subs and straight-up music purchases can co-exist happily in parallel on the iTunes Store, just as apparently 99 cent DRM dloads and $1.19 DRM-free dloads will shortly.



    .



    I'n not really quibbling, but it's $1.29.



    Seriously though, how will Apple deal with the DRM question? The DRM on subscriptions is much more severe then it is for purchases.



    EMusic, I believe, has a subscription without DRM. But, that is just for indies, who have no DRM anyway.



    How would Apple deal with the majors, or anyone else that insists upon it?



    Apple now seems to be committed to eliminating DRM as fast as they can.
  • Reply 51 of 85
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    EMusic, I believe, has a subscription without DRM. But, that is just for indies, who have no DRM anyway.



    Isn't the eMusic system more of one that you are still buying, but more of a recurring bulk purchase discount? Where you get a lower price per track for committing to spend a certain amount per month?
  • Reply 52 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Isn't the eMusic system more of one that you are still buying, but more of a recurring bulk purchase discount? Where you get a lower price per track for committing to spend a certain amount per month?



    I don't know exactly how it works, but it isn't a regular subscription. What you say seems to be close.
  • Reply 53 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
  • Reply 54 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I'n not really quibbling, but it's $1.29.



    Seriously though, how will Apple deal with the DRM question? The DRM on subscriptions is much more severe then it is for purchases.



    EMusic, I believe, has a subscription without DRM. But, that is just for indies, who have no DRM anyway.



    How would Apple deal with the majors, or anyone else that insists upon it?



    Apple now seems to be committed to eliminating DRM as fast as they can.



    Apple could do subscriptions despite the DRM, they'd just have to open it up. The thing that's getting them into hot water in Europe isn't so much DRM but the 'no interoperability' thing caused by the closed nature of FairPlay. \



    Of course, that then begs the question, "Why didn't they just open up FairPlay, instead of going DRM-free?".

    A: Because it solves the interoperability problem, gets the European regulators off their nuts, AND its something that customers like. But subscriptions are something that some customers like too, and they're likely to accept DRM as a necessary consequence of having it. They already have elsewhere.



    Meanwhile, for the "DRM can burn in hell" crowd, there'd still be iTunes' regular 'you own the music' DRM-free downloads. Everybody's happy... except of course for the 5% of people who are never happy and will always complain no matter what.



    .
  • Reply 55 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    Apple could do subscriptions despite the DRM, they'd just have to open it up. The thing that's getting them into hot water in Europe isn't so much DRM but the 'no interoperability' thing caused by the closed nature of FairPlay. \



    Of course, that then begs the question, "Why didn't they just open up FairPlay, instead of going DRM-free?".

    A: Because it solves the interoperability problem, gets the European regulators off their nuts, AND its something that customers like. But subscriptions are something that some customers like too, and they're likely to accept DRM as a necessary consequence of having it. They already have elsewhere.



    Meanwhile, for the "DRM can burn in hell" crowd, there'd still be iTunes' regular 'you own the music' DRM-free downloads. Everybody's happy... except of course for the 5% of people who are never happy and will always complain no matter what.



    .



    I think that this will be difficult to resolve.



    I don't see Apple wanting to get into something they seem to have committed themselves to work getting rid of. It's become a matter of politics now.



    I don't see Apple offring this unless they see subscriptions rising rapidly, and sales of songs dropping. Jobs pretty much hinted at that recently.
  • Reply 56 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I think that this will be difficult to resolve.



    I don't see Apple wanting to get into something they seem to have committed themselves to work getting rid of. It's become a matter of politics now.



    I don't see Apple offring this unless they see subscriptions rising rapidly, and sales of songs dropping. Jobs pretty much hinted at that recently.



    I dunno Mel... we're just going to have to wait and see what the results of the negotiations are. Stevie J did get the 'DRM-free in exchange for variable pricing' deal he wanted from EMI, but EMI was in an especially weak position, and the other majors will be a tougher nut to crack. Especially if EMI's DRM-free catalog doesn't sell especially well when it comes available.



    Sure, *we* care a lot about DRM and bit rates, but Joe Average might just go, "$1.29 insteada 99 cents? For the same song? I don't think so."



    If things go that route, Jobs will have to sweeten the pot, which may mean... yep, subscriptions.



    .
  • Reply 57 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    I dunno Mel... we're just going to have to wait and see what the results of the negotiations are. Stevie J did get the 'DRM-free in exchange for variable pricing' deal he wanted from EMI, but EMI was in an especially weak position, and the other majors will be a tougher nut to crack. Especially if EMI's DRM-free catalog doesn't sell especially well when it comes available.



    Sure, *we* care a lot about DRM and bit rates, but Joe Average might just go, "$1.29 insteada 99 cents? For the same song? I don't think so."



    If things go that route, Jobs will have to sweeten the pot, which may mean... yep, subscriptions.



    .



    Don't forget that EMI was testing DRM-free downloads for several months already. The story is that they approched Apple, not the other way around, after Job's blog. It's very likely that EMI got what they wanted out of Apple.



    I think for Apple, it was put up or shut up.



    Either way, I'm not sure that Apple will want to add another DRM service at this time.
  • Reply 58 of 85
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Don't forget that EMI was testing DRM-free downloads for several months already. The story is that they approched Apple, not the other way around, after Job's blog. It's very likely that EMI got what they wanted out of Apple.



    It's fair to say that both parties got what they wanted. EMI got a potential spur to their online sales, higher pricing, and the appearance of being 'ahead of the curve'. Apple got DRM-free music to sell, and a precedent to use against the other major labels in negotiations.



    Win-win for Apple and EMI, but not so much for other majors, from their point of view. No wonder they were bitching so hard after the EMI deal was announced.



    What Apple is doing now is probably the equivalent of 'encirclement'. The other majors may well decide that variable pricing alone is not enough incentive for them to offer DRM-free. But almost 30% of music is not controlled by the major labels.



    So, if Jobs can get the vast majority of independents/smaller labels to join EMI in offering DRM-free, he can meet his publicly stated goal of having 'about half' of the music offered on iTunes be DRM-free, even if the other three majors stonewall. And if sales of those DRM-free tracks are good, well, the 'contrarian three' major labels start to look desperately out of touch and behind the curve. If that happens, they'll cave, sooner or later. That's what Jobs is counting on, and it could come to pass... he'll get his 'EMI deal', but with everybody.



    But the flip side of the coin must be considered as well. I'm not saying that this sequence of events is impossible, or even improbable. All I'm saying is that it could be derailed by a number of things (indies being slow/recalcitrant to join up, DRM-free tracks not selling as well as anticipated, subscriptions and subscription-subsidized Zunes lighting a rocket under Zune/Zune Marketplace sales), and if so, Jobs will have to do what he's done so well in the past: improvise.



    And that may mean subscriptions to sweeten the deal for the other majors, despite Jobs' recent anti-DRM rhetoric. Things turn on a dime with Apple when they need to... one day, the G4/G5 family of processors are the best things since sliced bread, not so long later, Intel is king. Apple adapts to circumstances... which is a good thing, actually.



    But given that, bear in mind that Apple is anti-DRM right now because it is strategic for them to be so, not because of any very strong philosophy or values. If it becomes strategic for them to offer subscriptions, they'll do so. Not saying its a certainty, just a good possibility, though I agree it won't happen very soon (Jobs' current strategy vs the other majors would have to fail first before he considers adapting tactics).



    .
  • Reply 59 of 85
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Since modern physics seems to be over your head, let's go with Nobel Prize winner in economics, Milton Friedman. Let the market decide. Up to this point, the market has chosen purchasing over renting music. Apple's was not the first online music store, it was just the first to be a financial success. Instead of whining, pleading, persuading, preaching, and generally flapping your jaw, hold out a dollar bill. If there is money to be made renting music, then come along to accept your money.



    The Nobel Prize winners have their theories, but we have an old saying in the 'hood--Money talks, B.S. walks.



    Ha, ha .... nice satire, but I'm afraid your analysis is flawed and Friedman was only half correct in economics and you are overly simplistic regarding the market.



    First, the market can only decide what it has been offered to buy. They have had the choice of Apple/iPod/iTunes vs. Whateversoftware/Whateverplayer/Sony,Naptster,whatever music store. Does that mean buying is better than renting? No, oh ye of the flawed logic. It means that the entire bundled goods and services of Apple are better than the competitions goods and services. A true comparison would be between Apple/iPod/iTunes buying vs. Apple/iPod/iTunes renting. That is what we call an experiment with limited/contolled variables. Only then will the "market [really] decide."



    Second, I think the buying model will still beat the renting model. I prefer it myself. But I also see that if the renting model is a steady percentage of the market at least 10% or higher, than Apple should at least try to compete in it as well. I don't see a big downside to it and it has such a big upside in taking away any advantage of the competition. It won't stop your ability to only use the buying model in the least, AND if it makes the record labels even only a little more secure, they might drop the purchase prices or add DRM-free songs even quicker, since revenue will be coming from more than one stream.



    Third, you have no clue what "whining, pleading, persuading, preaching, and generally flapping your jaw" actually is, since you don't see it in yourself. I am simply critiquing certain comments that make bad logical assessments. Please describe where I am mistaken in my propositions or argument logic. I also don't really understand what you meant by "holding out a dollar bill"!?!? Maybe I don't have your street cred.



    Fourth, you're a poopy face!



    BTW, I used to teach physics.
  • Reply 60 of 85
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    I don't know that that line of reasoning proves much here. Did the 'pay for music' model do better because it was inherently superior, or did it win out because iTunes and the iPod (and the integration between the two) were simply better than the competition & whatever music purchase model Apple had favored would've won out anyway? Makes you wonder.



    In any case, and as others have noted, it is NOT an 'EITHER/OR' choice. Subs and straight-up music purchases can co-exist happily in parallel on the iTunes Store, just as apparently 99 cent DRM dloads and $1.19 DRM-free dloads will shortly.



    .



    Ooops, TBaggins, you made my points already (and much more succinctly), sorry I didn't read ahead.
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