Apple's clearly a big player in the music market. In fact, they sell
more music in America than Walmart! It's pretty amazing how fast iTunes
has become the go-to source for music, but it's clear that Apple has no
intentions of slowing down. In an effort to battle the variety of
ad-based free music streaming services (not to mention subscription
services like Rhapsody and Zune
Pass), reports are flying that say that
Apple is considering a fee-based music service.
Right now, the only way to get music from Apple
is to purchase either a
song or an album via iTunes. There's no subscription, all-you-can-listen
model available. Reuters is reporting that Apple is currently "in talks with major record labels
to provide a subscription-based music service, allowing unlimited access
to songs for a monthly fee," citing an article from the New York Post.
"Unnamed sources" were to thank for the rumor, which said that iTunes
head Eddy Cue recently talked with various labels on how they could set
up such a program.
If implemented, the service could offer a range of pricing options from
$10 to $15 per month, which could stipulate how much music could be
downloaded or stored. Apple wouldn't comment on the report, but that's
no surprise. It certainly makes sense for Apple to engage in something
like this; there's really nothing to lose. Some people will continue to
buy music, and others may prefer the rental option. We suspect it's
probably the labels holding things up, if in fact talks are still