Apple is reportedly in talks with content providers about making iTunes completely free for customers that decide to pay more for their iPods or iPhones.  Surely, Apple is willing to share or give the additional device markup to the music publishers in exchange for the content.  I doubt the publishers would take a flat fee, since their royalty contracts with the artists are not structured this way.

If Apple can get the publishers to agree to this it will be great for those who are purchasing their iPods or iPhones for the first time.  I would think that the added premium on price will likely pay-off in the long run.  My guess is that it would be a $249 premium for a device lifetime subscription.  But what about those, and I am not one of them, who have already purchased hundreds if not thousands of dollars in iTunes music?

Frankly, I doubt that this subscription model will even happen given the "old school" thinking and artist contracts that publishers still have.  Stay tuned.

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