Zune music subscription now includes 10 monthly downloads-to-keep


ZunepassMore news on the Zune front as the holiday season begins to heat warm up like mild baby bathwater. Earlier in the week, we saw price cuts on the Zune flash-based players, which left hard-drive shoppers out in the cold. Today, all current and potential Zune owners get another tidbit that’s pretty darn appealing. Starting today: all Zune Pass subsribers gain the ability to download and keep ten songs per month at no extra charge.

That means your $14.95 monthly subscription fee not only includes unlimited music streaming but could save you around $10 a month because you get to "buy" ten songs:

"Zune Pass subscribers will have the added benefit of retaining digitalrights management (DRM)-free MP3 tracks from Sony BMG and UMG, inaddition to MP3 tracks from EMI Music, Warner Music Group and a largeportion of the independent music labels. With the addition of tracksfrom UMG and Sony BMG, Zune will soon offer over 90 percent of itsmusic in the MP3 format."

That’s ten DRM-free MP3 audio files included with the unlimited streaming subscription. Looks like Microsoft is starting to think about how they can compete or differentiate themselves from Apple and Nokia’s "Comes with Music" deal. Now if they can add Zune support to Windows Mobile and get some marketing behind the ideas, I think they can start making some real progress.

(via The Mobile Gadgeteer)


Joe T.

I agree with your take on subscription music. I left subscription when Yahoo left me, but now will probably go back (just wish there were a smaller, easier-to-tote, high-capacity Zune).

Some typo corrections state your case better:

It’s $.0025 per song per month, i.e., 1/4 of a cent, not 25 cents. 1500 cents / 6000 songs

And “I’ve got 6190 songs that I am no longer renting…” I think you meant to say that you are now renting 6190 songs but at a lower rate, 1/3 the rate of before, i.e., 1/12 of a cent per song per month.


I don’t really see how subscription music is a niche market… people have access to a practically unlimited amount of content for $15/month… rather than $15 for 15 songs. In fact, the more you download the more beneficial it becomes. I have 6200 songs right now. That prices out to less than 25-cents per song per month, but under the new model, I download and keep 10 songs (a $10 value) which brings my subscription to $5/month, which means I’ve got 6190 songs that I am no longer renting but am only renting for $5/month, so that’s just pennies.

What’s more, they’ve already committed to expanding to the Windows Mobile platform, and if they integrate Xbox Live Marketplace and Zune Marketplace, as well as Windows Mobile, that’s a very very large market of users with an incredible amount of content.


I agree it’s a good competitive move for them, but I think they’re competing in a declining market. With the iPhone and its music phone competitors growing in popularity, I think these types of music subscriptions, not to mention dedicated music players, are heading for the niche market.


This is great, but I wish they’d update it so I could use my Zune Pass for video downloads too.

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