Feeds

Buyers said to favour a la carte music in 2005

Don't understand or don't like subscription services

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Napster and co. will have to work much harder if they're to convince music buyers that subscription services are worth the money.

That's the conclusion of research conducted by market watcher Parks Associates. Its Global Digital Living survey reveals that only eight per cent of people who own MP3 players and possess an Internet connection are likely to use a music subscription service this year.

By contrast, around 40 per cent said they are likely to buy songs on a one-off basis.

"Consumers either do not fully grasp the value of a subscription 'all-you-can-eat' service, or they simply don't want it," said Parks research director John Barrett.

There can be a financial benefit to the subscription services, if you download enough content, but the fundamental barrier appears the rental element - users don't own the music they download. Stop paying Napster, Virgin or whoever, and your downloads immediately become unplayable.

Given the highly disposable nature of much popular music, there's a pitch to be made for subscription services as a more economic way of sampling music than buying stacks of potentially duff albums. The trouble is, illegal music sharing provides exactly the same benefit, but is free.

That at least contrasts with the a la carte services, such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, which stress ownership and are therefore more likely to appeal to folk looking for songs they know they will like, and what to be sure they get a decent copy at a good sample rate with all the artwork etc.

But the news isn't all that good for a la carte services, such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, either. More than half clear did not say they were likely to buy songs from either source, an indication perhaps that rather a lot of music fans aren't interested in downloading music using paid online services.

Parks didn't say what percentage of respondents currently use either form of download service, but subscriber and download figures from Apple, Napster and so on suggest it's not yet a high percentage of MP3 player owners, the majority of whom, anecdotal evidence would suggest, continue to derive most of their digital music content by ripping CDs rather than downloads. ®

Related stories

French consumer group sues Apple, Sony
Napster does the maths
Napster's Super Bowl ad voted the biggest loser
Why Napster will be a fully-integrated flop
Napster launches portable player-friendly music service
Apple iTunes sales tally hits 250m
Music sites charged with 'enslaving' users
Legal downloads jumped 900% in 2004
Napster subscriber tally hits 270,000
iTunes launches in Ireland

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.