The Free 25 Songs That Aren't

from the not-quite dept

It looks like RealNetworks has decided to copy Napster and offer a “To Go” service for their Rhapsody music subscription offering. Of course, since the various online music stores can’t agree on a standard technology, you’re fairly limited in exactly where those songs can actually “go.” At the same time, just like with Napster, anyone who stops paying loses all access to the songs they downloaded — which isn’t very appealing. It shouldn’t be long, though, until someone figures out how to free up those songs. In the meantime, the marketing promotion that RealNetworks has decided to go with is to hype up the fact that they’re now offering 25 free songs per month for non-subscribers. The details, however, show that it’s not 25 free songs — but 25 free song listens. In other words, you can download a single song and listen to it 25 times, or listen to 25 different songs — and you’ve used up your quota. Not quite as interesting as actually offering 25 free songs. In the Reuters story on this new service, there’s a confusing statement that “costs for running the service will be offset by Real’s business relationship with Google Inc. and a new sponsorship pact with DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler.” So, on top of subscription fees and limited uses for the rented music, you can also expect plenty of ads.

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Comments on “The Free 25 Songs That Aren't”

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Michael says:

I just don't understand

you state
>>anyone who stops paying loses all access to the songs they downloaded — which isn’t very appealing

Why? This is a rental deal. If you cancel your NetFlix account, do they let you keep the movies you have?
And you are quite free to buy the tracks you want to, just like you can buy the movies you like and want to keep.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: oops

No. Actually, I don’t think people should be downloading unauthorized files from Kazaa or BitTorrent. I don’t, and would never recommend that others do.

What I do think, is that these companies that are offering services that are only going to upset users are going to piss them off in a way that they *do* end up going to these services, which they shouldn’t be using for those files. What the industry needs to do is figure out a way to offer people *what they want* and do it in a way that makes them money.

Instead, they’re trying to offer people exactly what they don’t want, and then complaining when it doesn’t work.

Our perspective here is actually very much from the business side of the industry and what they should be doing to *save* their companies.

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