I listen to a lot of music. For me and others afflicted with Chronic Music Discovery Syndrome, purchasing tracks individually is prohibitively expensive, and a subscription is truly the way to go. We CMDS sufferers realize that our way not the best for everyone. We tend to be more tech-inclined than the mass market, and are thus more accepting of the limitations of a subscription—namely the lack of a tangible/sustainable product. My pitch to friends about subscription services reads exactly as you've seen a thousand times.
Me: So you can download an unlimited number of songs from a library of millions for the cost of one CD per month. If you think about it, iTunes charges $1 per track, and I download way more than 10/15 tracks in that month, so I'm saving a ton of money.**
Them: That's awesome!
Me: Yeah, the only catch is that "when you stop paying, the music stops playing."
Them: Oh. I'll just stick with Limewire/Torrents/The-400-Songs-I've-Had-For-The-Last-Decade
Article Notes: *
It's called the "network effect
", and also applies to telephones, fax machines, P2P, and e-mail. The second part, getting my friends to join, requires them to find usefulness in my sharing music with them. I think that given a comparable "ecosystem" experience, Zune's sharing will
push it ahead of the iPod, provided it's valuable
to the consumer. This chicken-and-egg problem requires a strong base, mostly through word-of-mouth and other marketing. The iPod had/has a benefited from similar bandwagoning, but with commonality through accessories and filetypes.
**This is typical marketing rhetoric. I don't "save" anything, because I would never purchase thousands of songs at $1 apiece. It's the Wal-Mart effect in full-force: creating a "need" where one previously did not exist. This is the same way that Microsoft "loses" money when you share a Zune Pass (I even used this in paragraph 3, and didn't catch it until now) or the RIAA "loses" money from P2P.