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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Music Sites That Pick Up Where iTunes Leaves Off

Re: Music Sites That Pick Up Where iTunes Leaves Off
Posted by: John P. Mello Jr. 2010-01-01 15:10:24
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When you're as dominant in the online music market as iTunes is, it's hard to see the chinks in its armor, but a number of alternatives have cropped up to take advantage of what some see as gaps in Apple's service model. One door that iTunes has left open for its competitors is streaming delivery of music. "Where iTunes has really fallen short is on subscription and streaming -- the idea that you pay one cost and get everything or you get a lot of music for free streamed to a device," Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst with the Enderle Group, told MacNewsWorld.

A big pond already
Posted by: GregMG451 2010-01-06 07:28:31 In reply to: John P. Mello Jr.
As a consumer and an iTunes user, I would ask "why rent when you can own?" On the other hand, I am also an avid fan of Pandora and, which give me access to user-motivated streams of radio-style music I enjoy. These services are free, and are on my computers and iPhone.

Rhapsody and Napster et al. already have well-established bases of subscribers who "rent" music, but have to purchase the music to create CDs of their playlists.

Apple could easily wade into these waters, but it would upset a well-established business model (many fewer purchases, perhaps offset by subscriber fees). In fact for Apple's "one stop digital world" ethos, a streaming service might make sense for the AppleTV. However, since Apple builds in one's iTunes library already, that point might be moot.

It comes down to a simple, easily analysed economic test: is the purchase-and-own, or is the subscribe-and-rent model more profitable, based on users' preferred way of listening to music?

The answer probably lies in the demographics--people like me who have owned LPs and CDs, and MP3s and AACs, who are tuned into purchasing their music, and college age listeners who might prefer to have a bit less control and stream (and not have to repurchase their music with each new tech iteration).

And with free services with enormous libraries readily available, why would you subscribe at all?
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