Despite the initial coverage blitz, we really haven’t heard much of Nokia’s creatively-named ‘Comes with Music’ initiative lately. Despite a lack of interest in Nokia’s offering to this point and a company history of unlimited service opposition, Apple is reportedly considering a fee-based service that would grant subscribers unlimited access to the iTunes music store. Initially reported by the Financial Times (who oddly dubbed the concept a “radical new business model”) as a result of alleged tips from senior Apple personnel, the potential offering is said to be in development and would apply to iPhone and iPod owners. Nokia’s service is structured in such a way that a handset can be purchased at an elevated cost and the difference is applied to fees paid to content owners (Universal in this case). This inflated margin accommodates one year of unlimited downloads, after which the service can either be renewed at a fee or dumped. Apple is supposedly in talks with labels with regards to a similar offering but may be having trouble achieving the desired pricing structure. Referenced studies indicate that customers on average are willing between $7 and $8 per month for an unlimited download service; a hell of a price point when all things are considered. What would you pay for unlimited iTunes downloads?
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