The Financial Times and other sites are reporting that Apple is mulling a subscription plan that would allow users to download unlimited songs to their iPod or iPhone. To get unlimited downloads, you would presumably have to pay a higher premium when you purchase the device, but then you would have the ability to download any songs or albums from the entire iTunes music library. The subscription would probably be non-transferrable, so if you upgraded your device you would have to pay another premium.
Several other online music services, like Napster, have subscription models where you pay a monthly or annual fee for access to their downloads. If you stop paying the recurring subscription fee, your downloads will no longer work.
Steve Jobs has stood by the current business model of the iTunes music store, but it’s clear with the new iTunes Movie Rentals that they are interested in exploring other business models. Clearly not everyone wants to “own” their digital content.
I’m not sure I would go for this model. I buy maybe 1-2 albums a month, but I upgrade my device regularly. I’ve had 3 iPhones since June, for instance. I don’t mind paying $1 per song and having the ability to burn CD’s and keep my music forever. I listen to my music over and over again, and usually only buy a song or album when I know I like it.
Would you pay a premium to be able to download unlimited songs and albums from iTunes?