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Zunelicious is a blog that covers Microsoft's new Zune MP3 player, and all the news that goes along with it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Okay everyone, BIG news day today for the Zune...Microsoft officially announces price and release date, as well as a slew of other tantalizing info.

First - the two big two anouncements...the price of the Zune has been set at 249.99, not to be undercut by the iPod...and the release date is set for November 14th.

Now I'm not sure how I feel about the price, as a consumer I would have much rather preferred a price tag of the rumored $229.99 that has been floating around. I think it would have been in their best interest as well, releasing the Zune at a lower price then the iPod, but one problem with this is that as the Zune becomes more popular they would always have to leave the price at $229.99, lest an army of angry shoppers storm Redmond over the price hike.

But wait...there's more. Microsoft revealed the pricing of the Zune Marketplace today as well. Downloading individual songs will cost users the standard .99 cents, while the subscription service will cost $14.99 a month.

The price of my the subscription had me floored...$15!!! ($179.88 a year!!!). You've got to be kidding, it's no wonder now why they are abandoning the Playsforsure initiative and excluding support from the Zune, because if they allowed it the Marketplace would have no customers. Instead, customers would flock to other subscription based music download sites like Yahoo's Y Music Unlimited which offers unlimited downloads for $9.99 a month.

I think Microsoft dropped the ball in this respect, they had a chance to really bring Subscription Services to the mainstream, more so then they are now, but instead of coming up with a competitive pricing system they decided on their own price and locked everyone else out. Not cool...

This news leaves a bad taste in my mouth...while the Zune device's pricing is understandable and most likely 50 dollars less then they originally planned to offer it for, the price of the Zune Marketplace subscription is way too high and needs to come down. I say this because I have always thought that the Zune had an advantage over the iPod in that it would have a subscription based system, but priced like that, iPod users might not see the benefits outweighing the $179.88 yearly pricetag the service will cost. I mean honestly...Microsoft has talked about how the average iTune user only has about 25 purchased songs...how do they expect the users to spend 7 x more on their music?

It doesn't make sense to me...but I'll let you decide either the pricing is justified.


posted by zunelicious, 1:34 PM | link | 7 comments |