Olga Kharif at Bloomberg is reporting on an interview with Zune senior product manager Terry Farrell, where Farrell indicated a major price cut for the Zune Pass may be seen soon.
Zune Pass currently costs $14.99 a month, and even though Apple still has no direct answer to it, RealNetworks Inc.’s similar Rhapsody service cut it’s monthly price to $10 from $14.99 last April. Farrell didn’t say how far the Zune Pass price would drop, but one can assume due to Rhapsody it will drop to $10 or below.
So does this indicate continued life for the Zune music player, despite holding just 2% of the portable music player business? I would tend to doubt it. Rather, this sounds to me like Microsoft continuing to prime the pump for Windows Phone 7. We know that the Zune software will be an integral part of the new phone OS from Redmond, so dropping the price of one of the few clear advantages Zune has over iTunes would make perfect sense.
Still, for those of us addicted to using SmartDJ with a Zune Pass, this news is music to our ears. If you can’t be competitive, at least you can be cheap. It also comes on the heels of Alex Reeve of the UK MObile Group saying that the release of Windows Phone 7 will FINALLY bring the Zune Marketplace to the UK, I assume with Zune Pass in tow. Now, if they put the software on Mac and Linux, we will REALLY be rolling.