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Old 12-26-2012, 08:50 PM   #16
tubemonkey
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
I use my Netflix subscription regularly, but I am considering switching to Prime for the shipping, music, and lending library. I can't see myself paying for both.
Netflix pros
  • better content
  • plays on all Android devices (Prime Instant won't)

Prime Instant pros
  • cheaper subscription rate ($79 vs $96)
  • free 2-day shipping; no minimum purchase

As long as Prime remains unavailable for other Android devices, I see no point in getting it. In the meantime, it's Netflix for the win.

Prime has value as a $7.99 monthly service with no contract; but unfortunately, Amazon pulled the plug on that model just two weeks after introducing it.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
I use my Netflix subscription regularly, but I am considering switching to Prime for the shipping, music, and lending library. I can't see myself paying for both.
If you watch a lot of movies and/or tv shows, then you'll want to keep both. I have a Prime membership and the 2-day shipping is worth more to me than their streaming service. Hubby has, however, started using the streaming for one TV show in particular.

The Lending library is good too, although I haven't borrowed anything in a while (I have way too many things on my TBR list).
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Yeah, I checked out Pandora many many many years ago and again just recently as well as last.fm but they really don't do a lot for me. I DO listen to internet radio both local stations and a couple of classical and ambient depending on my mood etc. And I certainly don't want anything to do with iTunes.
My four primary sources for music are:
  • Pandora (artist/genre stations)
  • FM Radio (local stations)
  • TuneIn Radio Pro (national and international stations)
  • YouTube (songs on demand)

All free and all ad supported. I'll continue to listen as long as they remain "free". I refuse to pay a subscription fee for any of these services.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lazybones View Post
I wonder if the prevalence of libraries might hinder the acceptance of a subscription model for books. People are used to borrowing books for free; if they pay for one, they expect to own it.

My own local library has started buying Kindle books and it's really easy to use; I can get most bestsellers as long as I'm willing to wait.
Libraries are actually an ebook subscription service. The fee is in the form of yearly property taxes. In return, we get unlimited access to their content.

Personally, I'd never pay for a private ebook subscription service. Between public libraries, public domain, and free book offers; I have more content than I could ever possibly read.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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I was a huge user of Last.fm back before CBS bought them. It's really unrecognizable now.

Then I joined We7 shortly after they started up -- when you could download a track with an ad and get the ad removed in a month. Then they changed, changed again, the format was harder to use, and now they aren't available in the US at all.

I was a big customer at AmieStreet, until they sold out to Amazon and Amazon closed them down. They did spin off Songza, but it doesn't appeal to me.

I'm currently a paid listener at MOG. I hope the fact that I've paid for a subscription means I'm no longer a jinx.


As far as ebooks go, I'd really want to own it. A big part of the reading "experience" for me is going back and rereading a story ... maybe a couple of times over the years.

So, maybe a "book of the Month" type subscription service would work, but the equivalent of "streaming" a book I don't own wouldn't appeal to me.

Last edited by cromag; 12-26-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:59 PM   #21
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I have never been interested in such subscriptions services because I am a huge fan of make "collections". I like to have all my files organized [etc.] and know that I will never loose them "if I don't renew my subscription". This goes for music as well as books.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:21 AM   #22
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Pandora is losing money. They lost $16 million, on $250 million in revenues for FY2012.

Spotify lost money in 2011, $56 million on $244 million in revenues and perhaps 5 million paid subscribers.

As a commercial service, Napster tanked and had to merge with Rhapsody.

Rhapsody might be eking out a $1 million profit, on $125 million in revenues and roughly 1 million users.

Nielson's annual study of the music business indicated that people are using subscription models more, but are also "stubbornly" hanging onto the idea of owning music. Even people who use music subscription services frequently purchase tracks.

Music and movies also differ significantly from books in a critical aspect: Time. A song takes 3-5 minutes to experience; a TV show takes an hour; a movie takes 2 hours or less. A book can take days, if not weeks, for someone to read. So you can pay Netflix $10 a month to watch dozens of shows, or you can pay "Bookify" $10 a month to read one book.

For people who read large numbers of books, it makes sense for the consumer -- but not for the service. The more ebooks they provide to a subscriber in a given month, the less profit they make from that customer.

Amazon Prime works only because Amazon is willing to take a loss on it, in exchange for drawing people into the Kindle system.

One option that might work is a textbook service. You pay X per semester, and can check out ebooks from your school's curriculum for that semester.

Otherwise, I'd say the economics don't look good for ebook subscription services.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Nielson's annual study of the music business indicated that people are using subscription models more, but are also "stubbornly" hanging onto the idea of owning music. Even people who use music subscription services frequently purchase tracks.
If free music streaming disappears, I'll go back to FM radio as my primary source for casual listening.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:10 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Pandora is losing money. They lost $16 million, on $250 million in revenues for FY2012.

Spotify lost money in 2011, $56 million on $244 million in revenues and perhaps 5 million paid subscribers.

As a commercial service, Napster tanked and had to merge with Rhapsody.

Rhapsody might be eking out a $1 million profit, on $125 million in revenues and roughly 1 million users.
Spotify could be profitable tomorrow if it want to by limiting the free user. But it want to focus on growth. Scale is important for a service like Spotify.

And it is valued at $3 billion from the latest investment.

It is not going anywhere.

If Rhapsody has 5 million paying subscribers instead of just 1 million subscribers, it would be in a much better shape. Even with just 1 million subscribers, it has been profitable.

Subscription music worldwide just need to reach about 30 million paying subscribers to overtake Itunes. Very doable. It's just a matter of when.

Last edited by Top100EbooksRank; 12-28-2012 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
If free music streaming disappears, I'll go back to FM radio as my primary source for casual listening.
That's what I do, but over the air or on-line stations like Sky.FM or Classical 102 etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:02 AM   #26
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I have internet radio on my reciever. I'll occasionally surf whats available. I even have a couple of stations saved. But for the most part, like books I prefer to own my media. I have an extensive library of CDs, SACDs, DVD-Audio, purchased flac downloads, and even some good old vinyl. I prefer my music lossless as opposed to the compressed bit rate you get from streaming services.

Now books, I guess I could try a lend for fee service. There are very few books I want to read twice, if I like it enough I can buy it. There is a lot of music I will listen to multiple times.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:34 AM   #27
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Ebook 'rental' is certainly popular at my library. There are over 6,000 'checkouts' every month and that is growing as they get more titles. This was a year ago. I'm sure it's higher now. Audiobook rental, both disks and electronic, have always been popular there.

I like Pandora. Spotify wouldn't work consistently, so I ditched it off my Itouch. I will try Rhapsody this weekend. I like listening to Pandora several times a week mostly because I learn of new music out there. At other times, I listen to what I already have or an audiobook.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Top100EbooksRank View Post
Spotify could be profitable tomorrow if it want to by limiting the free user.
Spotify has chosen to offer free use to lure users. If they restricted free use, the free users that they want to nudge into paying will drop them like a stone.

(Note, they didn't have to do it that way; Rhapsody offers a free 14-day trial, but no free-with-ads like Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm etc)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Top100
If Rhapsody has 5 million paying subscribers instead of just 1 million subscribers....
So your counterfactual is, "what if Rhapsody was five times larger than it is now?" Really?

Their profit margin is roughly 0.8%, and they likely won't benefit from economies of scale. With 5 million users and no changes to royalties, they might eke out a $5 million profit on $600 million in revenues.

Some perspective: It takes Apple (the entire company, not iTunes) about 2 days to generate $600 million in revenues, and with a profit margin of 22%, less than 3 hours to generate $5 million in profits.

After 10 years, Rhapsody was stuck in the 600,000-user range, and squeaked into 1 million users earlier this year because of the Napster merger. They're not getting to 5 million any time soon.

This isn't a zero-sum game, where a subscription to Pandora stops people from purchasing music. I.e. it's going to take a lot more than a half dozen services collecting 30 million paying subscribers to truly challenge Apple's position.

The reality is that several music subscription services have failed (Napster, iMeem, Myspace, SkySongs, Nokia), and a half-dozen subscription services are scrambling to survive.

And again, even if a streaming service does break out and build a sustainable model, that doesn't mean it will translate well into ebooks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:09 PM   #29
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There's another way a subscription service can work: with ad-supported or sponsored books.

The Prime library is a loss leader for Amazon--they've always lost money on books to get people to the tires, camping gear, and cameras. eBooks are the perfect loss leader for them--very little per-unit cost (fractions of pennies when authors make their books voluntarily free) and an eager pool of suppliers (quarter-million indie authors.) And Amazon is taking it a step further by creating its own content. They've been publishing for nearly two years and are now making movies and TV shows. How much longer until they are signing or assembling bands?
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:11 AM   #30
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In my personal opinion it's the job of public libraries to get us our virtual books. I'm not that much interested in commercial subscription services from the entertainment industry right now.

Have a look at the Brooklyn Library. It's written in stone there: Free Access. That's the idea behind every library on this planet.

If I want to own a book, I'll simply buy the printed copy.. A manuscript with a JPG of the cover image is not a book, it's just a 300 kb manuscript..
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