iTunes Gets One Step Closer To Letting You Subscribe To A Band
from the sorta-maybe-possibly dept
It is, as always, great to see new experiments in terms of music business models -- but, again, this one seems to get the business model backwards. Effectively, Apple and the band (or, rather, its label) are asking Depeche Mode fans to pay $9 extra for some vague promises of future benefits that aren't at all defined. And, all of it seems to be focused around the digital content (the stuff that people are a lot less interested in paying for, and which can be used -- for free -- to promote more scarce parts of a business model). Also, the "pass" isn't much of a subscription, since it only lasts for a few months. I'm sure some diehard fans will pony up, but it's not exactly a compelling reason to buy at all.
To design a good subscription plan, you could simply let anyone get the pure music for free, but offer tiered yearly plans that provide extra benefits: earlier access to the content (get the latest single before your friends!), access to a private chat room that the band actually hangs out in, opportunities to buy tickets to shows before anyone else, a chance to win backstage passes to meet the band, and (my personal favorite) an opportunity to win a private show or a "backyard" concert. Then, the more the music is out there and enjoyed, the more worthwhile it is for fans to sign up to this program. Will there be free riders? Absolutely. Will there be more free riders than members? Probably. Does it matter? Not at all. Because you'll have a situation where everyone is happy. The band is making more money than before, the band has more fans than before with more people listening to their music, and the band's true fans are more closely connected to the band. And, oh yeah, no one's suing anyone or demanding payment. It's really not that difficult.