iPod Owners Could Get Unlimited Music

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple is reportedly considering a plan to sell premium-priced iPods that include unlimited access to the entire iTunes library.

The deal would work on both iPods and iPhones, and would either be a flat-fee or a monthly subscription. Users could then download as many songs as they like from the iTunes site for as long as they have their device.

Subscribers could still be able to keep up to 50 of the songs on their computer even after they stop using the iPod or iPhone. It's possible they might be allowed to legally burn them to CD as well. (Source: chicagotribune.com)

It's thought Apple could charge as little as $20 on top of the iPod purchase price for the service. That's about how much the average iPod owner spends on iTunes downloads, so Apple would likely be looking to boost sales rather than increase the profit from individual customers.

However, music labels will want more cash for allowing their songs to be available in this way, and some analysts say Apple might have to charge as much as $80 more to make the scheme viable.

The unlimited downloads could be particularly popular amongst iPhone users if the songs can be delivered through wireless Internet or 3G technology.  A phone which can play virtually any mainstream song on demand would be a marketing dream.

The Apple discussions follow Nokia's announcement of a similar program launching later this called 'Comes With Music'. For an extra $80, Nokia users will get a year's access to the firm's music store. Although this includes tracks produced by major-label Universal, the range of songs available is much smaller than the iTunes library. (Source: arstechnica.com)

The Apple scheme could well turn out to be the musical equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet: subscribers initially gorge themselves on the unlimited offerings, but in the end their appetite isn't enough to stop the company raking in a healthy profit.

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