Why Music Subscriptions Make Less Sense Than Ever…

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As Larry just posted, Apple actually approved the Rhapsody app for streaming music if you have a RhapsodyTo Go account. So now we have RhapsodyToGo available in the US and Spotify available in much of Europe. That’s awesome, and a bit of a surprise but still… I don’t quite get it.

Rhapsody to Go is $15 a month. That comes down to $180 a year or $360 over the contract-life of the iPhone. (As if iPhone ownership weren’t costly enough already.) Worst of all at the end of that year you own NOTHING!

Contrast that to the Simplify Music app at $5.99 and the whole “rent your music” concept kind of falls apart. Here’s why…

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Having digitized Elana’s and my CD collection when we first met and then going on some CD buying binges we have over 11,000 songs in our iTunes library’s. That means there is almost always something to listen to no matter what my mood. Good start.

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I share libraries with Larry thanks to Simplify. That gives me another 1900 songs that I can stream to my Mac or iPhone. So we are up to 12,900 songs.

Wayne and I share libraries too. Add another 2,048 songs for a total of 14,948.

Travis’ library currently has 9177 songs in it which brings the total to 24,125.

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So while there is some degree of overlap in the songs I ALREADY have access to over 20,000 songs and it cost me just  $5.99 for the app. And here is the best thing… I can still invite 23 MORE friends to share my library and request access to theirs.

Conservatively estimating the size of those additional libraries would bring us to over 100,000 songs that are all accessible to stream after a one time purchase of $5.99. No, that might not give me immediate access to brand new music but I could STILL buy a new album each month and be ahead of the game.

Bottom line… the “rent you music” model always had flaws but with streaming and sharing services like Simplify it makes less sense than ever.


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.