Apple talking iTunes subscriptions with major labels- or so we hear.

Posted on October 8, 2010


These rumors have been around for a while and they are mostly accurate, there just hasn’t been the right set of circumstances.


Well with the success of Pandora (especially in the mobile space), I am sure that the sense of urgency to get a subscription solution put together for Apple has accelerated.


(New York Post) Apple is talking with the major record labels about a subscription music service that would give customers unlimited access to songs for a monthly fee, sources told The Post.


Apple iTunes boss Eddy Cue was on the phone with music honchos as recently as a few weeks ago trying to figure out how the partners can move forward.


One source said the service could have tiered pricing ranging from $10 to $15, although there are issues to be ironed out, including how much music would be included in each tier and how long consumers would be able to access that content.


One top music exec said the labels are supportive of the idea and believe it could re-energize digital music sales. While album downloads have been on the rise, single track sales were flat in the first half of 2010 compared to the previous year.


Speculation that Apple would introduce a subscription service has been kicking around for years but the news that music service Spotify will be part of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 release on Oct. 11 revived industry chatter.


Spotify is a European music service that has yet to launch in the US. The company’s stumbling block has been its free ad-supported streaming music business model as the record labels prefer a paid subscription model.


“I think there could be some demand for [an Apple subscription service], but it wouldn’t be universal,” said Gartner music analyst Mike McGuire.


A spokesman for Apple declined comment.


Posted in: Apple