Lots of news has been going around today about Apple in talks with the music labels to offer all-inclusive iPods – hardware that comes with a buffet of music at no extra charge.
Alternatively, Apple is considering offering an iTunes subscription service that would give users unlimited access to music for the life of their device.
For a $100 premium fee, customers can pay to have unlimited access to the complete iTunes library for the lifetime of their device, whether it be an iPhone or iPod. Or for a $7-8 monthly fee customers could have the same unlimited access, though at this time it looks as if the subscription service will only be offered to iPhone customers.
I assume this would be similar to Yahoo’s old Music Unlimited program that I subscribed to at one point – offering tracks with DRM so as soon as you stop your subscription the downloaded music becomes unusable. That service was $7.99 a month, I believe.
If the music really does last only as long as the device lasts, I’m thinking it’s a good day to own this company.
Man…so much you could say about this transaction if it goes down. This has long been the speculation, but Yahoo in the past has scoffed at the idea. At this point however, and given the recent news out of Sunnyvale, I would be surprised if this deal didn’t happen.
Let’s look at some of the assets MS would be acquiring:
- The Yahoo brand (arguably the strongest online brand ever)
- The #1 trafficked news site
- Top social site Yahoo Answers
- Top photo site Flickr
- #1 web mail product
- Yahoo Music
- Yahoo Shopping / Stores
- A legitimate search engine and PPC network
I’ll try to post more later, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on this deal.
Hot off the press, Sony BMG plans to drop DRM protections! Amazon will be the first to offer DRM-free music from all four of the major labels.
DRM is the stupid policy that prohibited digital music from being used in a free manner. That is to say, songs purchased on iTunes could only be played with an iPod, and songs purchased from wal-mart couldn’t be burned to a CD, etc.
“DRM tends to punish the innocent more than the guilty,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, a technology research company. “It was hurting folks who were trying to follow the rules more than the folks who were pirating the music.”
Soon I will be able to purchase any song, and enjoy it any way I want. On my iPod, from my desktop, steamed to my D-Link MediaLounge, etc.
Along with this announcement is that fact that Amazon is pushing it’s way in front of iTunes, as recording lables have become increasingly frustrated with Steve Jobs and his strong-arming techniques. Apple is now forced to sit out and wait, reaping some of what it has sown. Of course it won’t be long before Apple has the same agreements with the major four labels – they just have to play second fiddle for once.