Jobs Says Apple Customers Not into Renting Music

April 27, 2007

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs indicates he is unlikely to give in to calls from the music industry to add a subscription-based model to Apple's wildly popular iTunes online music store.

"Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs told Reuters in an interview after Apple reported blow-out quarterly results. "The subscription model has failed so far."

His comments come as the company he co-founded gears up for contract renewal negotiations with the major record labels over the next month.

Since Apple launched iTunes in 2003, it has sold more than 2.5 billion songs and now offers increasing numbers of television shows and movies.

Many in the music industry hope iTunes will ultimately start, in effect, renting music online, so record companies can make more money from recurring income. But Jobs said he had seen little consumer demand for that.

"People want to own their music," he said.

Industry executives and analysts told Reuters last week that they expect Apple to push for further concessions from record companies on selling music without copy-protection software known as digital rights management (DRM).

In February, Jobs urged all four major record labels to drop DRM, a move that some observers at the time said was sparked by the pressure Apple faces from European regulators to open the iPod/iTunes family to other technology platforms.

Already Apple , owner of the market-leading iPod digital media player as well as iTunes, has cut an early deal with EMI Group Plc, the third largest-record company, to sell music without copy protection software.

"There are a lot of people in the other music companies who are very intrigued by it," Jobs said of the move to sell songs without copy-protection software. "They're thinking very hard about it right now."

The Apple/EMI deal leaves Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment - a joint venture of Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann - and Warner Music Group Corp. in a tough spot, analysts say.

"We've said by the end of this year, over half of the songs we offer on iTunes we believe will be in DRM-free versions," Jobs said. "I think we're going to achieve that."

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Investors tap mobile message craze as trading begins on Line

Related Stories

Apple makes Siri smarter, rolls out software improvements

June 13, 2016

Apple kicked off its annual software developer conference with an artificial intelligence upgrade for Siri, its digital assistant, as well as new software features for other devices and an overhaul of its music service.

Would you trust your nuclear missiles to a floppy disk?

May 27, 2016

What can you do with a floppy disk these days? Apple retired floppy drives with its original 1998 iMac, PC manufacturer Dell followed suit in 2003 and now they are but a distant memory. But, according to a recent US government ...

Recommended for you

How to build a 1,000mph car (by the scientists behind it)

July 22, 2016

It was a staggering feat, a car that went faster than the speed of sound. On October 15 1997, Andy Green travelled across the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, in the Thrust SSC at 763.035 mph, or Mach 1.02. Two decades on, that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.