Somehow I doubt “as little as $10/month” rental music is going to fly. Pay to rent your music? Right. For that price you could buy at least 6 over-priced CDs per year, every year. Frankly I have a hard time finding that much good new music every year. From outfits like Magnatune you could buy perhaps 12 CDs per year, every year. At $15/month you could instead buy at least 9 over-priced or 18 direct CDs per year, every year.
No doubt the music “industry” loves the idea. A guaranteed income stream even for old music! Heck, who needs to come up with new music?? Who needs new artists?
No doubt Microsoft likes the scheme. If successful this gives them a competitive wedge against Apple’s iPod and iTunes. Likely they get a slice of the “rental” money.
Maybe their hope is that young people with small collections and little money with get hooked on the “rental” model. This assumes that they can kill the bootleg copying of music … used primarily by young people with small collections and little money. Right. I certainly would would not bet on this little swindle.
On the other hand I do believe notions like Magnatune have a real future. Buying music directly with more money to the artist and less money from the consumer is a better deal for both artists and consumers. Not such a good deal for the middlemen - the record companies.
Better yet I can see a sort of subscription model where the you could pre-order music from your favorite artists. The consumer gets more of the favorite sorts of music at a good price. The artist gets a good notion from consumers of the interest in their continuing efforts.
But “rental” music? No thanks!