Yahoo Announcement will raise the price of Portable Music Downloads
October 22nd 2005
Yahoo announced that their subscription music
download service will increase prices. They plan on doubling their
monthly fee from $4.99 to $9.99 for customers who buy their service
on an annual basis. Others that pay by the month will see their
service fees increase from $6.99 to $11.99 per month.
This service has been for users who transfer their
music into portable devices or onto CDs. It is similar to other
services including Napster LLC and RealNetworks. Yahoo allows
unlimited downloads but requires a monthly payment to listen to
them. If a user wants to permanently keep a song they must pay 79
cents for that right.
Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes has no monthly fee
and basically sells the songs outright for 99 cents per tune.
Wal-Mart offer competitive services. Wal-Mart charges just 88
cents per song.
Yahoo has offered existing customers the
opportunity to lock-in their subscription at $59.88 for one more
year. Also customers that don’t wish to transfer songs to their
portable devices only need to pay $6.99 per month.
Some record executives have complained that
Apple’s 99 cent price is too low. They feel the low price won’t
generate sufficient income to cover the recording company’s
expenses. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has called the recording industry
“greedy” and warned them that customers may resort to illegal file
sharing if they raise the price.
Several years ago Yahoo bought Broadcast.com
Mark Cuban an instant billionaire. Broadcast had been a free
service allowing users to listen to a multitude of radio stations
over the internet. Soon after the purchase, there was a lawsuit
filed by a commercial actors union effectively shutting down most
internet radio broadcasts.
Yahoo morphed Broadcast into a service called
Launch. Yahoo has tried to provide both a free and pay music
listening experience implementing basic artificial intelligence to
determine what a particular listener is interest in. The free
service is packed with ads, even more so that many radio stations.
If a listener has broadband and doesn’t mind the
commercials there are other services available. One popular service
Rock.com. Another popular service is
StreamAudio.com. Stream Audio also includes dozens of talk
radio and news stations. There are thousands of radio stations
available over the internet.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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