CNET is reporting that Apple may well charge for the right to use it’s forthcoming cloud-based music service. You know, the one we’ve been hearing so much about, that will allow users to store their music in the cloud and stream it down to their internet-connected device. This service is reportedly wrapping up development, and Apple is currently seeking agreements with the four major music labels to use their content with the service. The report does mention however, that Apple may offer the service for free for a short period after the launch to entice customers to sign up.
The report specifically pins a $20/year fee for the service. No word on whether this will tie directly into the expected MobileMe overhauled or if this is a standalone product.
See, $20/year is not a lot of money. I’ll likely sign up for it if that’s how much it costs. However, that fact alone, proves to me that Apple doesn’t “get” the cloud yet. They’re wanting to nickel and dime customers to use cloud services (which admittedly do cost to create and maintain), when they should be offering this for free to further incentives a move to Apple’s platform, or as a significant feature for the new iOS or Mac OS Lion. But then again, what’s not to say that that’s not what they have in plan already?
In short, people don’t want to pay for things like this unless it’s cheap, or proves to be invaluable. Look no further than a service like Dropbox.