Well, this day has been looming over my head for a few months, and unfortunately it has finally arrived. It's like watching your beloved pet slowly dying and you know you are going to have to put it to sleep. You have to keep positive, and enjoy your last days together, knowing that one day it will have to end.
AOL signs Napster as its sole music subscription service - Jan. 12, 2007: "Napster to replace AOL Music Now AOL tells Music Now's 350,000 customers that their accounts will be converted to Napster unless they opt out; transfer should be finished within 60 days."
Napster now has Virgin and AOL's music subscribers (and who knows... maybe more to come). Hopefully they are simultaneously working on a DRM alternative (or better yet, working on a major-label sanctioned DRM-less offering) so that Microsoft's PlaysforSure program's pending demise doesn't leave them out in the cold.
So, where does someone like myself (product lead on Music Now for the last 1 1/2 years) now go for my subscription music service provider? I'm not sure yet. I'm going to start my evaluations (as a consumer) all over again... Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic. iTunes? Nope. I'm sworn off of iTunes and basic a la carte offerings. I love subscription music services, and until Apple offers me one, then I'm going to pursue other providers.
UPDATED COVERAGE FROM NEW YORK TIMES