back to article Apple to open iCloud for 'free' before slapping $25 subs on service

Apple is reportedly planning to shepherd its existing iTunes subscribers into the company's upcoming iCloud service, by initially offering them to make the online pilgrimage at nada cost. Down the line, however, the LA Times reports that users will be slapped with an annual subscription fee – said to be around $25 – to access …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That sounds a bit strange

    So Apple keeps 18% of revenues, which are according to the article $25/year per user.

    So that's about 38 cents per month per user? Doesn't seem like it would even cover Apple's costs.

    On the other hand can't see Apple pushing ads left, right and centre on music you already own but are just streaming.

    Something doesn't add up.

    1. banjomike

      Excuse me ??

      "can't see Apple pushing ads left, right and centre on music you already own but are just streaming."

      Want to bet? I could easily understand Apple slapping ads on stuff I own. After all, I will be using itunes (or iCloud or whatever it will be called) to stream it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I'd take that bet.

        Know any online service where two mostly anonymous parties can join up and bet on something?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first one's always free...

    ...see title

  3. bill 20
    Thumb Down

    So what if.... not interested in sticking my iTunes music collection on iCloud, but want to continue to use my MobileMe email address, iCal sync, address book, etc.? I now have to put up with ads? Time to move on, perhaps...

    1. mrh2


      ...wait until Monday when the facts will be released?

      Seriously, most Apple rumours turn out to be bunk, why take them at face value rather than wait 3 more days and know what the truth is?

  4. TonyHoyle


    $25/year for the service then $??? per year to actually make it useful?

    I seriously doubt they'll offer spotify style unlimited streaming for $25 a year.

  5. Michael 47

    The record labels get how much?

    So just to stream your own music *that you already paid for* (in theory at least...) the labels want a 70% cut? No wonder google wouldn't deal with them.

  6. TheOtherHobbbes

    This plan

    is made of Fail.

    What's in it for consumers? Are we supposed to be grateful that we can stream our music collections, as opposed to - er - carrying them around on iPods, like most of us do already?

    Most of the world doesn't have enough bandwidth for mass mobile video streaming, so that isn't going to work either.

    And unless Apple have been really, really clever, it's going to take the anti-fanbois about a microsecond to jailbreak any stream-based DRM.

    This is corporate masturbation pretending to be innovation. I'm sure lawyers and clueless media company CEOs are salivating at the potential $$$$$$$ - but really, it's the kind of thing Nokia already tried and failed at.

    See also Ping, Apple's user-free "social" network.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What plan?

      There's only been a few hints on price and industry contracts.

      Do you know what services they'll be providing or how it'll work? If so please share with the rest of us.

      Otherwise it is premature to call it fail. See you next week.

      As for Ping it's an attempt, just like Google's many own, to take some of that virtual monopoly out of Facebook. It's proven very hard so far, but if no one attempts it nothing will ever change.

  7. Scott Earle
    Paris Hilton

    And which countries will this be available in?

    I live in Thailand, and we can't even buy music (let alone movies) on the iTunes store online. All we get here is iOS apps and that's yer lot.

    I can, however, subscribe to MobileMe. This gives me syncing of all my contacts, calendars, bookmarks and wotnot.

    So if they are going to can MobileMe and replace it with something that does effectively nothing where I live, then where does that leave me, except up a certain creek without a certain implement?

    However, I'm not going to start handwringing just yet. The actual announcement is about 73 hours away, if I counted my time zones correctly. I think I'll wait and see. Then I'll start the handwringing, as appropriate.

    Paris, just ... because.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can you blame them?

      I mean who would actually pay for music in Thailand? Maybe 2 or 3 people?

      Didn't EMI close up shop there because they couldn't compete with pirate CD sales?

      It's just not worth the legal hassles - and bribes - involved to get it up to be honest. When in Rome do as the Romans do, as they say.

      As for MobileMe, don't worry existing services are not going away, if anything it'll become cheaper.

      1. Scott Earle

        Yes, I do blame them

        Piracy is rife when prices are high, and demand is high. It has been shown that given the choice of piracy or paying for stuff, as long as the price differential is not too great people would rather pay for stuff.

        You say EMI closed shop because of flagging sales? Were sales flagging perhaps because they set the prices at Western levels, and then watched as people stayed away in droves?

        In the West, the risks of getting 'caught' are higher, and the penalties harsh. This acts as a deterrent, and allows the iTunes Music Store to set a relatively higher price for content. In 'developing markets' the penalties are small, and the risks associated with getting involved in piracy are much lower. And yet, the music companies would probably still demand the same levels of per-item profit as they do in the West.

        Piracy is cheaper to the end user, but much less convenient. I can go to a local purveyor of pirated goods, and buy a CD full of MP3s, but most of those MP3s will be rubbish I don't want, and incorrectly tagged dross. There is effort that needs to be put in to make that stuff usable. Many people would be happy to buy the 'real deal', but not at comparatively ridiculous prices.

        Price your content according to the market (and yes, there is a Thai online 'store', so they could set the prices for just Thailand), and people will buy your stuff.

        So I blame the music companies for a lot of the piracy.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I never really got itunes et al

    Dont get me wrong i got a iphone and i have itunes because i apparently have to but i get my music via subscription account to spotify (on my iphone and any PC i happen to want to) mostly and occassionally amazon mp3 downloadt (without the apple DRM) for the same price.

    In fact if i boiught my spoitfy playlist rather than just effectively rent it so i can have it offline it would cost me about £1000+ or about 10 years of spotify subscription and every tune i add lengthens those odds.

    I just dont get itunes, its not cheaper, its not more available, its not easier to use, its got all sorts of limitations that i dont get elsewhere for less money.

    That said spotify is in the US yet so maybe this sort of streaming your own collection which you already paid for via a paid for service is the best that they can do.

    1. bygjohn

      Just a point of fact

      I similarly have rarely bought anything off iTunes as Amazon is generally cheaper and I subscribe to eMusic, but you are incorrect in thinking iTunes has DRM on music sales: it was dropped several years ago, and the bitrate upped to 256 (still AAC rather than MP3). They still have DRM on video, thanks to the movie corps, but not on music.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        No DRM

        NO DRM, Didnt even realise, suppose that just goes to prove that one poor business decision can have an impact long after you correct it.

  9. Tony Paulazzo


    >The iCloud music storage system is also expected to be wrapped in advertising, to help Apple fluff up its revenue stream online<

    Because they're hurting so badly cash-flow wise they need the lift?* Or because the big four music gate keepers are demanding a certain base cash injection per month?

    * See Apple make more money tham MS and Intel combined.

  10. Head


    I have a theory...

    ... every single manager, user, employee etc associated with apple, is deluded.

    Gimp, because he is liek apple users; wanting to take it in the a$$.

  11. Martin Kelly

    You choose don't buy it

    All this speculation, simple really, if you don't like it, don't buy it. Apple has never made anyone buy a product. Everyone who has, or uses an Apple product does so willingly. If you don't like it choose something else. Simple

    Get a Mac, get a life.

  12. Ascylto


    Well, if it is $25 then we in the UK can look forward to it being £25 as Apple can't (or won't) count!

  13. Ascylto


    I rarely buy anything from iTunes mainly because I can buy the whole CD elsewhere cheaper AND I've got it ... it's mine ... but to blame Apple for DRM (which is non-existent on music) is silly. It's the big record labels who demand the DRM (and the fat salaries that would shame FIFA).

    1. The MaJiK Man


      I can remember the time when Sony put DRM on CD's so you cound'nt play them on a computer.

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