Apple are planning subscription service, and this time for real (apparently)

By | Published on Monday 11 October 2010

We could have run an “Apple to launch subscription music service” rumour on pretty much any day since 2004, and on at least 37 occasions have done. And here we go again. The New York Post has reported that Apple is actively planning some sort of subscription-based music service, probably a streaming rather than download thing. According to the Post, gossipers reckon the new service will launch with a monthly subscription fee of $10-15.

Some gossipers are also saying that, while talking to the labels about their subscription service plans, Apple bosses have also been briefing against Spotify, urging label chiefs not to licence a free version of the popular European streaming service in the US. As much previously reported, American label chiefs are already nervous about green lighting the freemium Spotify service Stateside, fearing it will harm less-flexible and/or less-free streaming services already operational out there – Pandora and Rhapsody in particular, both of which are arguably moving towards self-sufficiency.

Sort of ironically, if Apple pressure does stop a free Spotify from launching in the US that will be good news for Rhapsody, though some reckon an Apple-run subscription-based streaming platform would knock the Real Network created service off kilter in itself. Apple has a much bigger user-base to up sell subscription services too, despite MTV’s involvement in Rhapsody.

Despite all of these mumblings, some insiders still reckon some sort of Spotify service will launch in the US this side of Christmas, possibly though some sort of partnership with Microsoft and its new mobile operating system.