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Unlimited music - the carrot to make people stay with a provider?
Wednesday 02 April 2008 08:45:32 by Andrew Ferguson

With broadband providers in the UK and elsewhere in discussion with the music industry over issues like illegal downloads it is perhaps no great surprise that music labels are looking to create add-on packages allowing people to pay a subscription fee rather than a per track fee for downloading music.

The Times confirms that Warner Music is holding talks with the main UK broadband providers which may see providers offering a music subscription as an add-on fee to their basic package fee. No precise pricing is mentioned for the UK, but a figure of $5 is mentioned for the US, which would probably translate to £5 in the UK.

As a way of locking customers into a provider, music that is only playable so long as you keep paying the subscription is a clever plan, although if a number of providers offer the subscription service all people will have to do is re-download their favourite tracks. Any subscription service is likely to have digital rights management, which raises issues of how portable will the files be between different computers and music players in a household.

Comments

Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"Any subscription service is likely to have digital rights management"

Great way for ISP's to lock you in if you ask me.

Knowing the likes of VM and BT they'll probably force you to listen to a 30 second ad before each Phorm-infested track.....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Warner Music is holding talks with the main UK broadband providers which may see providers offering a music subscription as an add-on fee to their basic package fee. No precise pricing is mentioned for the UK, but a figure of $5 is mentioned for the US, which would probably translate to £5 in the UK."

Love the sound of that and i would happily pay alot more than that amount for going mental grabbing music. (CONT)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"..music that is only playable so long as you keep paying the subscription is a clever plan, although if a number of providers offer the subscription service all people will have to do is re-download their favourite tracks. Any subscription service is likely to have digital rights management, which raises issues of how portable will the files be between different computers and music players in a household."
Pfffft they can keep it then, if they think im going to pay the fat cash cows even more money to be tied to my PC to listen to some stupid music single they have another think coming.
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
I say don't encourage them. It won't be long now before the financial constraint of DRM or indeed any other kind of lock-in arrangement forces the industry to remove the shackles. Just sit tight and let the industry stew for a bit longer. Just to make myself clear, I don't condone stealing of any sort but I won't support DRM on legally purchased material that's destined for personal use.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I wouldnt buy any product where once i have handed over the cash i cant do as i please with the product. If you are going to chain people to the computer in which to listen to music that IMO is totally pointless, do people really pay to do that, my god they must be stupid... Its almost like supermarket food but making the customer eat it on the premises.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Carpetburn:"If you are going to chain people to the computer in which to listen to music that IMO is totally pointless" I don't think it will have to force anyone to listen on a computer.

DRM rights can usually be transferred onto a portable device either temporarily or a limited number of times. Network music players like the Squeezebox should be fine because they are effectively another computer and can make their own DRM queries.

The SqueezeBox has very good audio output stages so you can listen (as I do) on your hifi.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Carpetburn:"I wouldnt buy any product where once i have handed over the cash i cant do as i please with the product." <tongue in cheek> that must place limitations on you then. Almost everything has limitations on use. You can't even 'do as you please' with your own house.</tongue in cheek>
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"DRM rights can usually be transferred onto a portable device............
The SqueezeBox has very good audio output stages so you can listen (as I do) on your hifi."
Oh thats fine then not only do you have to pay the rip off industry for your music but you have to go pay for another device to listen to it away from the PC? Yea right thanks but no thanks, the whole point of digital information is you can store and transfer it... with DRM bloat you cant even put it on your average MP3 Player
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"....Almost everything has limitations on use."
The difference is if you have a choice of products, you buy the one with the least restrictions.
The house thing also is not a good example, building a massive extension just means getting permission to do it.Putting A DRM track on a CD to play in your Hi-fi or normal MP3 player is impossible even if they gave you permission (unless of course you know how to remove the DRM, which again is floating close to the edges of law and another thing you would need permission for, permission which history shows the music industry wont give EVER!)
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
The downloads market is just too big now for the music industry to continue wasting time, money and effort trying to keep a lid on it. If by the end of the summer we're not seeing a total collapse of the cause for DRM I will be very, very surprised. Don't buy it; they'll get the message very soon and will also benefit from the surge in sales that is sure to follow. If only the BPI would wake up too.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
If it's a carrot, Andrew, then it'd need to be free. There's nothing to stop non-ISP services from offering something similar *without* the ISP lockin!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Give me a Music service with no stupid DRM bloat no stupid itunes like interface, no stupid limits and i may consider subbing to it (you know A LITTLE BIT LIKE online dvd rentals... Where you actually get something useful for your money which you can watch on more than one device and dont even have to have windows installed to use it).
Call it say 8 quid a month or 80 quid a year and ill be happy with that. Yeah you can argue on the price (too low too high) but if they want my cash for online music, thats what its gonna take.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Why anyone would pay for a digital music product that has been crippled and then also compressed to death is beyond me... Remove the Crippling protection and i may be able to bare the compression side of things, have both in place though and they can go do the proverbial into the wind before they get a penny from me.
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