According to MacWorld UK, the launch of digital-music subscription service VirginDigital in the US has sparked a debate about the future of the subscription model for music distribution, with Apple admitting it may consider a subscription service in the future. Speaking to the International Herald Tribune Apple's Eddy Cue explained his conviction that there will always be a preference for the a la carte model, saying: "Consumers have been buying music for 50 years and want to replicate that experience online." Cue then added: "Apple might consider a subscription service in the future but it had no plans to do so now."
The subscription model is less expensive for the online stores to put in place, costing them only 50% of the revenue off each track sale, instead of the 65 - 70% of the sale for a la carte downloads. According to Zack Zalon, President of Virgin Digital: "Two or three years out, subscriptions will overtake la carte because it is a much more interesting proposition. It has just been difficult to articulate to consumers what it is."