AT&T asks king's ransom for Napster tunes
Targets 'price insensitive' kiddies
AT&T hopes to fool the youth of America into paying way too much for digital music.
Today, the big-name telco announced that it will soon offer wireless access to Napster, the subscription-based digital music service. But it's ignoring the subscription bit. AT&T is giving certain cell phone owners the power to actually purchase and download songs from the service, charging $7.49 for a group of five tunes and $1.99 for individual tracks.
Yes, that price is high. But AT&T's director of premium content Rob Hyatt is confident that "young music fans" won't notice. "They're very price insensitive," he told The Associated Press. We tried to ask AT&T if he really said this, but the company refused to respond.
That five-for-$7.49 option is nothing new. AT&T already offers wireless downloads from another service, emusic, at exactly the same price. But the company has broken new ground in selling individual tunes for nearly two dollars a pop. That's the same price you'll find on Verizon's V Cast service, but it's more than twice the 99 cents charged by Sprint.
Yes, AT&T provides the cellular network for the Apple iPhone. But no, it won't offer this ridiculously-expensive Napster service on Steve Job's latest status symbol. That would make even less sense. The world is still waiting for the iPhone to provide wide-area cellular access to Apple's own music download service, iTunes.
Of course, there are other means of shuttling iTunes tracks onto your iPhone, including local-area WiFi networks. And just like Sprint, Apple charges only 99 cents a song. So, with its Napster announcement, AT&T is ignoring the good sense of both a partner and a competitor. ®
"But the company has broken new ground in selling individual tunes for nearly two dollars a pop. That's the same price you'll find on Verizon's V Cast service,"
So, is it new ground, or is it ground that Verizon has already broken?
Capitolism gone mad
Maybe it's because I'm in my 20's or maybe it's because I'm one of the few people I know who does not have an iPod, but I would not pay $1.99 for a song. AT&T as noted aren't going to sell this service on the iPhone. What happens when Apple opens up the iTunes Mobile music store for the iPhone? I suppose the rest of us who don't own an iPhone are the ones they feel the need to rip off now.....
Which is it.
Aren't youth and younger individuals also responsible for most piracy out there too? Isn't that a reflection of the whole "it should be free" philosophy of this generation that certain organizations love to accuse?
The reason they're price insensitive is A) because they aren't paying for their cell bill, parents are, or B) they get submarined by hidden or poorly disclosed fees and charges.
Either way, it's less than honest business practices at work, and it's why I hate my cell phone provider.