Sony BMG Also Planning Subscription Service

It's the new de-rigueur model for music downloads.

Sony BMG certainly isn’t the first company to talk about this route and it won’t be the last…

Speaking to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today, the company’s CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz couldn’t have been clearer:

“We are working on an online music subscription service,” he stated. “The simplest option would be a flat rate under which a monthly payment would provide access to our entire music catalogue for all digital players, including Apple’s iPod. It is even possible that clients could conserve some songs indefinitely, that they would own them even after the subscription expired.”

Cost was even on the table with Holtz suggesting a price of six to eight euros per month, while he admitted BMG is in talks with rival music labels to diversify content and discussions are planned with mobile telephone manufacturers.

Of course no timeframe was put on the service – just as it hasn’t been by fellow dabblers Apple, Universal, Samsung, Nokia et al. One thing is becoming clear however and that is a subscription model means DRM since no company with the slightest business sense is going to risk all its tracks being snatched by prolific downloaders over a few weeks. Still, allowances for customers to ‘conserve’ some content is also a common consideration.

So limitless rental or niche ownership? It’s going to be the next big choice for consumers…


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