At least one technology columnist believes Apple will introduce a subscription-based music and video service through iTunes.

An opinion piece by James Kim observes that while existing subscription services haven't really achieved much success, Apple does face increasing competition in the digital music service industry - and may soon act to change the rules of the game.

He (rightly) mentions Apple CEO Steve Jobs' consistent rejection of subscription services, "people want to own their music", but also observes Jobs' move to reject flash-based music players - until the iPod shuffle shipped.

"As competitors offer more and more features, Apple has the luxury of picking and adding the ones that work," he remarks.

He does criticise iTunes in its current incarnation, particularly for its lack of interactive and social networking elements, and points out that subscription services can really boost music discovery.

The opinion piece postulates a $10 per month iTunes music subscription service that would let users carry the music they subscribed to on their iPods, and would also let them create playlists that combine both owned and subscribed music.

"The time is now for an easy-to-use, utterly convenient, and cheap subscription service from Apple," he concludes.

You can read the report on Cnet here.

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