Yahoo! informed customers of its subscription music download service that it will increase pricing for users who transfer their tunes onto portable devices or CDs.
Yahoo! forwarded an e-mail to its Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers late Thursday telling customers that it plans to double the fee it charges for the so-called unlimited service from $4.99 per month to $9.99 per month, for people who buy the service on an annual basis.
Yahoo said people who subscribe to the download service on a monthly basis will see their memberships increase from $6.99 per month to $11.99 per month.
Unlike subscribers to Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes music service, who pay 99 cents per song download and own the music forever thereafter, Yahoo’s service more closely mimics the offerings of Napster LLC and RealNetworks Inc., which allow users to download as many songs as they wish for use on their computers, but levee additional fees for permanent ownership of the digital content.
In addition to the higher subscription fee, Yahoo charges subscribers 79 cents per download for music they want to keep for usage on a portable device or to burn onto CDs.
Yahoo claims that its service still represents the best deal on the market.
Yahoo! is offering existing customers of the Music Unlimited service the opportunity to lock in at the current subscription price of $59.88 for one more year. Customers who do not wish to transfer files to mobile devices will continue to pay only $6.99 per month for the service.