There's been a lot of hubbub lately over which style of sales and marketing will prevail in the ever expanding hyperbole of internet music retail. With sites like Apple's and MSN's new music service offering individual downloads for mere pennies, it makes you wonder how a subscription service will compete. I mean, would you rather own the rights to hold the cellophane wrapped digital bits in your meaty little paws or would you rather pay over and over again each month for the exclusive right to hear your favorite top ten over and over again?
Certainly, I'd rather have the bits. My usage pattern for music just doesn't justify the monthly cost. However, that hasn't stopped me from shelling out ridiculous fees to have droves of slovenly moronic media blasted at me from hundreds of channels, daily, nonstop, from which I invariably choose only the top few programs I deem worthy, and TIVO those to watch later. I pay for the subscription, but again my usage pattern is all wrong. Why do I do it? I don't know.
Certainly, it would advantage me to have a pay as I go TV service. Want to watch this season of Survivor? That's $2.99 Want to add on a few episodes of Red Green, that's discounted this month at 25 cents a show. Much better.
Of course, your usage patterns might vary. Subscription might, after all, be the right thing for you. I can understand that. I'm willing to accept it. This isn't a do-it-my-way-or-the-highway rant. More choice is better.
Still, there is one type of subscription that I just can't fathom, and I just have no means to identify with the people that can make this sort of decision. It makes me queasy just thinking about it. After all, would you pay a monthly fee to hear Howard Stern?
I didn't think so.