Jobs Dismisses iTunes Subscriptions

Dennis Faas's picture

Steve Jobs has not changed his mind about the way music should be sold. Last week, Jobs reinforced his view that subscriptions and iTunes do not mix.

"Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs said of subscription services. "The subscription model has failed so far." (Source:

Jobs' stance on the issue is far from new. In 2003, Jobs explained to Rolling Stone how the natural evolution of music doesn't support subscription services: "People don't want to buy their music as a subscription. They bought 45s; then they bought LPs; then they bought cassettes; then they bought eight-tracks; then they bought CDs. They're going to want to buy downloads." (Source:

Jobs' latest anti-subscription comment comes at an interesting time, as licensing negotiations with major record labels are fast approaching. Record labels are said to be yearning for a subscription-based iTunes model, which they believe will rake in more profits than the current $0.99 per song or $9.99 per album model allows. (Source:

However, Jobs is standing firm on his anti-subscription stance. "People want to own their music," he said. (Source:

But, do they?

Perhaps. After all, the success of iTunes is far from modest. Since its launch in 2003, iTunes has sold more than 2.5 billion songs worldwide. (Source:

Meanwhile, while record labels are expecting to pressure Apple's CEO for subscription services at the upcoming negotiations, Mr. Jobs will also be pressing for more DRM (digital right management)-free music. Last month, EMI announced that it would be selling iTunes tracks without the copy protection software.

Jobs is looking for more labels to sign on.

"There are a lot of people in the other music companies who are very intrigued by it," he said. "They're thinking very hard about it right now." (Source:

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