We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about MobileMe changes and price reductions. Here’s another. Apple will reduce the price to $20/year and add a music locker feature that will let you keep your music backed up in the cloud. The report comes from The Music Void, which says that Apple is strong arming the music execs to allow Apple to offer this service to users.
The sources cited say that Warner Music is on board already. Universal Music and EMI may be close, but Apple is struggling to get Sony to agree. With Apple bringing 70% of the label’s digital music profits to the coffers, they have a lot of power.
The way the service would work, if approved, is whenever you buy an album or song from iTunes it would go to your “digital locker” so that you could then download it to your iOS device any time you like. Users can already do this with apps and books purchased from Apple. The purchase gives you the right to download the app or book to all your iOS devices linked to your account. The change in MobileMe would add this for music as well.
If music jumps on the bandwagon, will videos come as well. With the current state of the studios’ attitudes towards digital versions of their movies and TV shows, we doubt it. Apple could not secure more than ABC and some FOX content for the Apple TV from the major US TV networks. There is no way they would allow something like this for their content.
We suspect this rumor is true. Charging for the service makes more sense for Apple. They don’t give much away for free. And reducing the cost would likely bring more subscribers. $20 is an impulse buy, unlike the current $99/year price. The enormous North Carolina data center has already been confirmed to be planned for iTunes and MobileMe. We think Apple would need such a server farm because this is likely to become a very popular service at that price if the rumor ends up being true.