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iTunes subscriptions could be forced on Apple

Record labels plan subs-based iTunes service

Macworld reports that the world's top music labels want to force Apple to launch subscription-based iTunes music services.

Apple is entering a fresh round of iTunes negotiations with the major labels this year, and the music firms see subscription services as a money-spinner as they offer regular and repeating income. However, artists see less profit from such services as they attract only minimal royalty rates from such distribution of their tracks.

Music fans gain access to a world of music, but of course must pay once again in order to own any tracks or albums they like.

The world's largest label, Universal Music, will kick-start the discussion next week, while other majors are expected to follow suit, according to a report initially published by the Financial Times.

A report on CBS Marketwatch continues the theme, claiming: "Executives at Universal and other labels believe a subscription service could prove more lucrative for them than iTunes' prevailing model of charging consumers 99 cents [79p] per track because it would increase consumption of music."

"It would also entitle the labels to a share of monthly payments, in addition to small licensing fees each time their songs are played," that report adds.

Apple in the past has argued against the notion of subscription-based music services, though these have proven popular in countries in which mobile phones predominate as music players


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