In the past, I have argued that one of the main reasons, Apple’s music platform -iPod + iTunes + iTunes store – works is because it is quite simple. You know which specific device to buy, and you know all songs you purchase from the store for 99 cents are going to work on that device. In comparison, the subscription services are inherently complex, as pointed out by USA Today’s Edward C Baig, who still thinks that they will eventually work, and Apple will also introduce a “music rental” package.
Renting can be complex, though, reflecting conflicts over digital rights. You’ll have to buy tunes to burn them to a CD. But some songs can’t be bought. Others can be streamed but not downloaded. Some can be downloaded but must stay tethered to a PC. And some can be downloaded and moved to a portable device. Got it?
I believe that once we move past the early adopter stage, many of these services will face a serious consumer backlash. Remember, none of Vonage’s early adopters really cared about the e911, it was the mass market which did. Oh by the way, when iTunes subscription service does come, well it is going to be what the others are not – simple!