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Old 04-27-2007, 05:24 AM
David Tucker
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Default Jobs Says No One Wants a Subscription

<p><em>&quot;Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it,&quot; Jobs told Reuters in an interview after Apple reported blow-out quarterly results. &quot;The subscription model has failed so far.&quot;</em></p><p>Statements like that take me back to the heady days right at the turn of the new millennium.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>There was a company called Palm that made all sorts of claims about what the customers did and did not want.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The customers amazingly never wanted what the company didn't offer.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>I see a parallel here.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Everyone says Microsoft can't beat Apple at this game and Apple is invincible.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>No, they're not.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Two of the largest services, <a href="http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2007Apr/gee20070405004034.htm">Napster</a> and <a href="http://www.realnetworks.com/company/press/releases/2006/q405results_8r16Js.html">Rhapsody</a>, lay claim to nearly 2.3 million subscribers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Yahoo doesn't release their numbers and I could find no information about what the Zune subsciber base is.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The estimated number of people who own an MP3 player in the United States is about <a href="http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=3124">60 million</a>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>About <a href="http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/FFE4A8E2-9816-4344-9FB0-61BED246674C.html">45 million</a> people own an iPod.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>That leaves us with a mere 15 million people who own something else.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>For the time being, I'm going to pretend that only Napster and Rhapsody exist since I have no other numbers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>That means that at least 15% of non-iPod owners have a subscription service.</p><p class="MsoNormal">I wouldn't be surprised if the actual number was closer to 20%.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>So does no one want a subscription service?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Hardly.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>I think so many people have bought into the &quot;me-too&quot; craze of owning an iPod that they've totally missed out on subscriptions simply because they don't have it available.</p>
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