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Thursday, August 18, 2005
Yahoo offers 1 Million Songs for 5 US Dollars per Month

For yearly subscriptions the cost will be US$4.99 per month, for monthly subscriptions $6.99.

Yahoo is sticking with plans to price the new music-subscription service at US$4.99 per month for yearly subscriptions or $6.99 for monthly subscriptions, making the new service competitive with offerings from Napster and RealNetworks.

Internet portal Yahoo on Thursday officially announced a music-subscription service for consumers in the U.S. A multimedia advertising campaign promoting Yahoo Music Unlimited will kick off Aug. 28.

Yahoo is sticking with plans to price the service at US$4.99 per month for yearly subscriptions or $6.99 for monthly subscriptions, making the new service competitive with similar offerings from Napster and RealNetworks .

Subscribers to the new service will be able to select from a catalog of more than one million songs, according to Yahoo. The service also will let users transfer music to portable devices and exchange tunes via Yahoo's messaging application.

Getting Word Out
Until today, Yahoo largely has relied on word of mouth to gain subscribers to its newest services, but the Internet portal plans a mix of traditional and nontraditional advertising to increase use of the new music service.

The advertising tagline "Over a Million Songs -- 5 Bucks a Month -- This is Huge" will help promote the new offering as the lowest-priced music service on the Net.

Yahoo also plans to use audio-equipped Segway vehicles to get the message out to South Beach and Miami Beach consumers in Florida.

Finally, Yahoo plans to create an online "Music Penthouse" in which partygoers can create personal playlists and share songs using the company's music service.

'Not About Competition'
Will today's move to offer a low-cost service give Yahoo an advantage over competing options, like Apple's iTunes?

"It's not about competition yet, it's about growing the market," said Jupiter Research analyst David Card, who noted that sales of digital music currently amount to $150 million in the U.S. annually compared to $11 billion for CD sales.

While Yahoo is emphasizing the $5-per-month rate, Card believes that price is not sustainable. He suggested that Yahoo will lose money on the service at that rate.

Analysts are watching online music heavyweight Apple for signs the company will enter the music-subscription fray. Apple's iTunes service is meant to sell iPods, said Card, who predicted that until the iPod sales are threatened, Apple does not need to offer subscriptions.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs often has said that people want to own their music, not rent it.

We must add, users want cheap music, irrespective of how they can obtain it!

Source: [TopTechNews]

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