Monday, March 26, 2007

Subdizing Music Subscriptions

This deal would be far more interesting if it meant that AT&T subscribers could stream any Napster content directly to their phone, but subsidized subscription pricing for all-you-can-eat sideloaded content is a good start.

AT&T Teams Up With Napster, Delivers Access To 3 Million Song Tracks Across Multiple Screens, Devices: "Strike up the band. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Napster (Nasdaq: NAPS) today announced a new offer that gives customers free unlimited access for one year to more than 3 million song tracks through Napster To Go(R) -- a $180 value -- allowing consumers to customize playlists on their PC and seamlessly transfer favorite tunes to compatible wireless phones and music devices. This move further blurs the line between communications and entertainment as well as wireless and wireline services."

This is what the subscription services need to really start getting some traction. Virtually "invisible" billing for their music. Bundled into their bill as just another line item.... caller id, data plan, music, etc.

Ultimately, I think it would be interesting to see new drop-dead-simple pricing tiers to exist.

  1. Stream anything you want for free (ad supported and/or with the premium buried in the wireless carrier's data plans)
  2. Download anything you want (unprotected MP3) for $1/pop for sync/burn/offline access

If you want to get crazy, then offer an ad-free version of the streaming service for a few dollars a month. But, I think if someone could pull off a model they'd really have a value proposition that would really resonate with consumers. It's basically the iTunes model but with full-tracks instead of 30-second samples, that is accessible from a web browser, and works with any/every device. Isn't that everything you could ever ask for?

1 comment:

jherskowitz said...

I accidentally had comments disabled for this post. So, I wanted to repost Stephen Walcott's comments that he left on another post...

steven walcott said...

i hope this is the right place to comment on the AT&T/Napster connection.

i can see how a lot of consumers would be really psyched about this kind of universal access to tons of music. however, i don't see how the large labels would be able to make any money at these prices. their costs are built upon $15 cds (which are eroding). do you see millions and millions of people paying $3-5/month for this access? even if you do, that's 36-50 dollars a year per consumer. i'm not sure this is going to be workable for large music labels.

in addition, i've been told by the middleman who puts my releases on iTunes that they only put music on iTunes because none of the other online music stores don't pay. this is an often overlooked issue.

8:14 AM