That concept changed over time, as will the perception of subscriptions if they are marketed to consumers in the right way, he said.
Another factor that should boost the popularity of subscriptions in the future is the increased spending of younger fans who are naturally more comfortable with the idea of not owning their music, said Matthew DeFilippis, vice president of new media and technology for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, a membership organization representing the rights of artists.
"Ownership is a generational thing," he said. "Even though kids today are buying from iTunes, I don't think they care about owning a thing. As they become the new generation of homeowners and bill payers, [music subscription] will be moving toward a cable [TV] model."