Apple iTunes which launched in 2003, has managed to turn themselves into an extremely successful media store. Up until this point, Apple has always said that they would never consider turning to a subscription service. Now rumor has it that they may be changing their tune.
Other music services on the web like Yahoo’s Music Unlimited have taken the subscription route, but yet none of these services have become too popular. Why is that?
Some analysts are saying that subscription models haven’t worked yet for other services because iTunes hasn’t gone that route yet. Is iTunes really THAT influential? Or are these other services just lacking something?
Phil Liegh who’s a senior analyst with Inside Digital Media spoke to CNN Money and said:
“The number one factor regarding the acceptance of the subscription model is the dominance of Apple. The idea of subscribing to music is new to most consumers so when the dominant player doesn’t talk about it, the idea seems out of the mainstream for most consumers.”
While some are saying that an iTunes subscription is definitely a possibility, others are saying that this isn’t very likely. Dan Moren over at MacUser.com says:
I think the deluge began in my newsreader sometime last night: “Apple to consider iTunes subscription service!” You’d have thought that perhaps the clouds had parted and the smiling visage of Steve Jobs had blazed forth, sending down word from on high that Apple would offer iTunes subscriptions. Not exactly.
The whole rumor of Apple starting a subscription service came from the CEO of Intent Media Works who works with peer-to-peer networks. If Apple was going to start such a service, I doubt they’d be telling them their plans first.
Whether or not this rumor is true, I think most people would be happy with a subscription service, particularly if they purchase media regularly.
As a side note, you just might be able to purchase your favorite Beatles songs from iTunes soon. The Beatles recently settled a $50 million royalty dispute with EMI that has kept their music from the iTunes store thus far.