The question is: given Yahoo!’s decision that DRM subscription music doesn’t work, why does Apple think they can make it work? The lifetime payment idea sounds a reasonable one: the iPod has a slightly higher cost but it comes with infinite downloads. Most important about that model is that it hides the payment to music companies; remember, by misinterpreting p2p (“the market wants convenient digital music” was interpreted as “some dorks are stealing our stuff!”) and then by acting like bullyboys as they futilely chase the people they wish were customers, the labels have created a generation that expects music to be free.
Then again, it may well be that mobile devices operate under different economic rules than desktop ones: in New Zealand, Vodafone sells more music singles than any other outlet, including the iTunes Music Store (that fact’s in the comments of the article, not the body). I run a very dumb phone because I enjoy being away from email, and I’d buy a bridge before I bought a music single on my phone, so I’m probably not the best person to assess the viability of the phone. I realize this is probably like asking, “why do kids these days dress so funny?” but I have a question for readers: can you help me understand why people pay money for music on a phone when they already have a laptop full of music?