There are two places in the world — the movie and record industries — where it's apparently permissible to be stunned that people will stop paying for something when they can get it for free. That's where the record industry is today, reportedly disappointed by the lack of revenue coming their way after the launch of iTunes Radio. The report comes courtesy of Billboard:
"The a-la-carte consumption model is 11 years old and at this point the decline in the U.S. download sales seems unstoppable; it doesn't seem like the store is refreshable," says one label executive, who went on to suggest Apple has no choice but to embrace the subscription model." But that executives believes that while digital sales will continue to deteriorate over the next 9 months, he says that some consumers will still prefer to stick with the download model, leaving Apple to service three channels--the download store, iTunes Radio and a premium subscription model--to reach music fans.
There's no denying that subscription services have taken off in recent years, and the licensing fees paid by those services are adding to the labels' bottom lines. Bloomberg quotes one independent label as saying that their revenue has gone from 70% from iTunes in 2012 to 50% today. Record label executives are said to be pushing Apple to revamp the iTunes Store and launch a premium subscription service, but if Apple is planning on doing so, they're not letting on any signs that such a play is in the cards.