A new NPD Group survey says that 7-8 million iTunes users (16%) would be willing to pay $10 for a cloud-based subscription service from Apple.
The "iTunes Usage Report" revealed that 13-15 million participants would have a strong interest in a free service from Apple that would allow access to their music library through iTunes on multiple devices.
NPD Group surveyed Apple iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPod Touch users in their survey.
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So is the "try before you buy" system? Will users actually still buy songs from iTunes when they can stream anything for $10 a month?
“We don’t yet know what, if any, effect these services might have on the traditional pay-per-download music model, or whether consumers will ultimately spend more on digital music overall, if or when any of these options eventually rolls out,” said Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior entertainment analyst for The NPD Group.
This all happens in parallel with Apple purchase and shut down of the popular streaming service Lala. Lala was said to have 8 million songs available for streaming and purchase. Apple acquired Lala for anywhere from $20 - $80 million, according to estimates.
Apple shut down Lala on May 31st, ending new subscriptions and streams. The notice was given via the Lala web site, saying "The Lala service has been discontinued as of May 31st, 2010." Embedded Lala music players across the Web have gone offline.
So the big question then and now is: how will Apple use Lala? Will Apple integrate it into iTunes, and allow a personal iTunes library to be available via the web? Will they start offering a subscription-based service like the old Lala for use, or did they just want to get a look under the hood of Lala's tech?