Thursday, April 2, 2009 Tries To Charge, Fails For Now

If you're not living in the United States, United Kingdom or Germany, wants you to pay to listen to the radio on their website. People who visit the site do not want to pay. And so they didn't. And so changed their rules.

Last week, the service attempted to institute a 3.00 euro per month charge (not outrageous) for international listeners. Unfortunately, no one wanted to pay and even more people wanted to bitch and the site has reconsidered. Temporarily. A blog post on the site details the upgrades that will be added to the radio feature before it relaunches as a subscription service. These include gift subscriptions, third-party applications and alternate payment methods. But will people pay?

The situation is doubtlessly different abroad, but isn't this almost like asking for people to pay for their news online? I mean this in the sense that once people are used to getting something for free, when you then ask them to pay for it you're risking pissing a lot of people off.

It also reminds me of my youth as a baseball fan -- the Yankees specifically -- and not getting the YES network at home in Florida. Still, I heard David Wells' perfect game streaming live through online sports radio, a service that was then free. It's a memory I shared with my father that I will cherish forever. But then, one season started up (as it will this month) and suddenly I was being asked to pay for the same service. I was just a kid, and now I realize people have to make money, but I still harbor an unfocused resentment today.

[via Billboard]

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