Universal's Music Subscription Idea Is Basically A Tax

Umg First “ringles“, now this.

Universal Music is finally warming up to the idea of subscription-based music and, if it has it’s way, here’s how its own subscription service will work.

The service would be called “TotalMusic” and it would require internet and mobile service providers to wholeheartedly buy into the plan, raising all monthly internet and cell phone rates across the board. Everyone’s forced to go for it, so consumers that aren’t interested in a music subscription would end up paying for it anyway. TechDirt.com says,

“As you might imagine, that proposal has been something of a non-starter with most ISPs approached by Universal. It’s also not clear if other labels would be involved, or if this would be a Universal-only sort of deal (which would also doom it to failure). In the meantime, given Universal Music’s recent attempts to squeeze money from everyone they can, whether or not it makes sense, you can pretty much guarantee that the terms on any such proposal won’t be too agreeable to anyone… other than Universal Music.”

The actual pricing hasn’t been disclosed or discussed but if we were talking about a small little bump here, like less than a dollar per month, this idea might have wings. Clearly it’s not a good deal, though, or ISPs wouldn’t be shooing it away.

It’s basically a music tax, which would be a cool idea if it were affordable enough that you wouldn’t really notice it on your bill and you’d get unlimited access to all music everywhere, at any time, on any device. It’d basically almost stop music piracy dead in its tracks. There’d be no point anymore.

The major problem is that its being spearheaded by a greedy, litigious, technologically backwards industry that, given its reputation, would likely never open its product up for ubiquitous consumption for anything less than a king’s ransom.

Universal Music Thinking Subscription… But In A Way That Will Never Succeed [Techdirt]