BusinessWeek is reporting that Universal is attempting to enlist the support of other record labels in order to launch their own music subscription service to compete with bitter enemy iTunes.
Sony BMG Music has allegedly expressed interest in being a "potential partner" in what is being dubbed "Total Music," and Universal is courting Warner Music Group to jump on board as well.
Total Music would be different than your usual subscription model, with rumored “a $5-per-month subscription fee that hardware makers or cell carriers would absorb, making the music itself ‘essentially free’ for consumers. That, of course, would still add up in one form or another, with some ’industry insiders’ speculating that it could add as much as $90 to each player -- based on the assumption that users hang on to their players for 18 months on average.”
….the problem is, when was the last time that any piece of software, player or application wasn’t out of date 18 months later?
Engadget.com: Universal Music Service