Microsoft Has A New Zune Plan
November 20, 2008 at 5:14 AM (PT)
MICROSOFT has unveiled a new music subscription plan for ZUNE users, who will be able to permanently keep 10 tracks each month, reports EFLUXMEDIA.COM. The ZUNE Pass subscription service available until now provided users with access to millions of tracks for a monthly fee of $14.99. The estimated value of the new subscription plan is of about $10 and users will be able to add the 10 tracks to their permanent collections.
The new plan was approved by the four major music labels -- WARNER MUSIC GROUP, EMI MUSIC, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, but also by several independent distributors.
The service lets users download music that can be shared on a maximum of three PCs and three ZUNE devices. There is also the possibility of downloading mp3s free of digital rights management (DRM), offered by UMG and SONY BMG, tracks which can be transmitted to any device and burned on CDs as users see fit, even after the subscription ends.
Still, the general interest in MICROSOFT's offer is not as big as the companies involved had hoped for. This is mainly caused by the fact that consumers are looking strictly for DRM-free music, which at this point is not ZUNE’s biggest segment.
"I think everybody in the industry would say they would have hoped that by this time there would be more (subscribers)," UMG ELABS EVP RIO CARAEFF stated in an interview. He added that because the results are significantly lower than expected, the service had to be redesigned. "MICROSOFT's making some concessions. We're both working and investing," he concluded.
MICROSOFT’s marketing director ADAM SOHN confirmed that the number of subscribers is not as big as initially anticipated, but he strongly believes that the new offer will bring a boost for the business.