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Microsoft may slash Zune Pass price to fuel Zune sales

updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu May 27, 2010

MS thinks Zune Pass could go below 15 dollars

Microsoft on Thursday said it might cut the price of its Zune Pass subscription service. Senior product lead Terry Farrell wouldn't say how certain this was or how much it might drop, but recognized that the Zune's $15 monthly, unlimited downloads weren't necessarily competing well. Music is a "challenging business," he told BusinessWeek in a chat.

The Zune Pass has been a central selling point for Microsoft and is used to significant advantage on the Zune HD. Besides making it easier to fill a player to capacity for a much lower cost than buying per track, it also provides direct-from-Zune streaming while on Wi-Fi as well as a Smart DJ feature that can auto-create a playlist even when some of the music isn't already loaded.

In remaining at $15, however, the Zune Pass has become one of the most expensive services of its kind. Rhapsody dropped its rate to $10, and services like Slacker are adding on-demand song queuing that doesn't permanently store songs but does allow full control of tracks.

Market leader Apple has never opted for subscription music, instead maintaining that users should own their music rather than rent it. The strategy makes filling an iPhone or iPod more expensive but also ensures that every track will stay if the customer stops buying through iTunes.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    drop the fee altogether and it wouldn't even help

    It has been proven to be as popular as renting the cable box.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Why bother

    Just about everyone knows that this service and its hardware is a POS and a failure.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005



    your comment

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008



    For the umpteenth time...NO ONE WANTS TO RENT MUSIC!!

    This is and always has been a solution that favors the music industry more than the consumers. Plus old habits are near impossible to change...people want to "own" their music.


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