Steve Jobs Back To Being A Fan Of DRM In iPhone 'Bundle'?

from the let's-pretend-we're-bundling-music... dept

This has been rumored for some time, but the Financial Times is reporting that Apple is trying to negotiate with the record labels for a new offering that would provide access to music as a bundle with an iPhone. The idea is that you could buy the iPhone and get “unlimited” access to music, either in a lump sum or with a subscription fee. Of course, there are some rather important caveats. While this would get a lot of attention, you only get access to the music for the lifetime of the device or subscription (if you didn’t pay a lump sum). While there’s a small concession that you’d get to keep 40 to 50 songs after the device died or the subscription ended, you’d lose the rest of the songs. In other words, despite Steve Jobs’ supposed dislike for DRM, this music would be quite DRM’d. Limited subscription plans have been around for ages and they’ve never gone very far because of those limitations. People know better by now, and so should Steve Jobs.

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Companies: apple

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Comments on “Steve Jobs Back To Being A Fan Of DRM In iPhone 'Bundle'?”

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21 Comments
Mike (profile) says:

Re: Get the facts straight!

If you read the press releases, you will see this is for Ipods as well as Iphones. I realize everyone hates the Jesusphone, but at least get the facts straight about it.

What difference does it make? This isn’t about the device, it’s about the offering. And I don’t hate the iPhone. This has nothing to do with whether it’s the iPhone or not.

Journalism sure isn’t what it used to be.

And for that we should be thankful. But we’ve never claimed to be journalists, and I’d appreciate you not lumping us in as journalists.

Sean says:

iPhone derision

> People know better by now, and so should Steve Jobs
I’m sure Mr. Jobs is a great guy, and he’s clearly a great salesperson and has great idea – but like all great guys, 90% of his ideas are simply rubbish. Fortunately, the 10% that are great, tend to be fantastic.
Me, I’m waiting for Nokia/Sony Ericsson/Samsung etc. to get their touch-screen phones out. I use quite a lot of little java applets on my current SE phone that I’d quite like to port over.

But this one 'might' work (profile) says:

Why other subscriptions failed

Most subscription plans failed because
a. Most streamed the music which limits where/when you can play it.
b. Most didn’t offer music downloads to own in conjunction with the subscription, and when they did offer downloads the music library was pathetic.

Apple will likely offer a subscription service in conjunction with the a la carte purchase option currently in place. This is a response to Zune’s offering I am guessing.

The only real downside I could see from Apple’s standpoint is a subscription service could cannibalize a la carte music sales.

Bob says:

Tasting device placed firmly into fleshy part of f

I think the gubbermunt should subsidize the music industry. We could each just pay an extra $200 a year in taxes and we are entitled to the entire catalog of music produced in perpetuity. The government should also administer the web site cuz they know what is best, or let Apple do it. Ooh ooh! Make the tax even higher and get everyone a mac!

Seriously though…I use rhapsody and I don’t mind paying for the convenience of having “most” songs I want at my disposal.

Does anyone know if the Ipod touches can use safari to play songs from rhapsody?

Vincent Clement says:

Re: Free Music

Bartering would not mean the end of economists. Bartering relies on supply and demand to function.

You may have a talent that his highly specialized – neurologist – which may put you in a better bargaining position. If you have skills that are common to many people, then you won’t be getting much in return.

Jeremy Herbel (user link) says:

How exactly is this bad?

I tend to agree with most of the stuff that shows up here on Techdirt, but I’m going to have to disagree with this one. First, if they offer the subscription (or lump payment) method, they aren’t going to suddenly stop selling songs a la carte. This means that if you hate the idea of “renting” music (CoJeff) you can still buy the songs you want to own. If they were to offer their entire catalog via a subscription service, there would be a lot of people that take advantage of that. I think one of the biggest reasons that other subscription plans have not done as well is due to them being incompatible with the iPod. People get an iPod and just synch it up with iTunes. That’s the extent they know, or care to know. It works, it’s simple, why bother with anything else? I know some people that aren’t even aware of subscription music plans, but regularly buy things on iTunes. When I tell them of a plan that lets them pay 15 bucks a month for unlimited access to 2 million songs they get excited until they learn it won’t work with their iPod. There are a lot of music fans out there that change what the want to listen to like they change their underwear. If they could pay 5-15 bucks a month for unlimited access to the entire iTunes library, they’d do it without hesitation. Personally, I’m glad to see Apple finally doing this. Giving consumers more choice is never a bad thing.

One last thing: I really do not like Apple at all, and recommend that if you are going to buy digital music that you do it from Amazon.

Burton says:

Is this not approaching an anti-trust violation?

If iTunes is a monopoly in the music-downloading business (a big if, for sure), then surely giving preferential deals to iPod owners constitutes ‘yoking’ a monopoly in one area of your business to another of your products, thus unfairly skewing the market against your competitors?

Wouldn’t this have to be open to all iTunes users, not just iPod owners?

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