Feeds

Buyers said to favour a la carte music in 2005

Don't understand or don't like subscription services

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?