by Mike Masnick

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Michael, Apr 26th, 2005 @ 1:33pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mike, Apr 26th, 2005 @ 1:38pm


    "isn't very appealing (especially ."

    Looks like you started to say something parenthetically and didn't go back to it; what were you going to say?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2005 @ 2:33pm

    Re: oops

    I know what Mike is saying here: In complaining yet again about companies trying to actually make money from providing a service, he is implicitly suggesting that people go to Kazaa and Bittorrent and just d/l the files for free. You're so transparent dude!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 26th, 2005 @ 2:51pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2005 @ 12:47pm


    This is all really a non-issue b/c real networks FREE products suck so bad that I highly doubt they can susatain this pathetic " deal ".

    Real Networks products take over operating systems and most people hate it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.