First off if you haven't heard anything about it check this out:
So has Sony decided to add a premium level to the PSN (which you would have to pay for), what features, options, and anything else you can think of to be added to this level that you would be willing to pay a monthly fee (or yearly) for? How much would you be willing to pay? Now keep in mind they aren't forcing you to pay for this level. All of the current features are still going to be free including the ability to play online.
I'll start by saying if they are going to offer such a level I probably wouldn't buy it lol. Although if they threw in the premium themes and made some of the PSN games free meaning if you purchased the subscription they would be free to download I might consider it.
Honestly, I would probably get it no matter what 'extras' they offered. If you think about it, $50 per year isn't that much for most people that have a PS3 and high speed Internet. Many people that have the former also have expensive HDTVs as well.
The thing I'm wondering is this: Given Sony is publically traded, they should have an army of accountants (being one myself) and financial gurus that can come up with a complete statistical analysis of the pros and cons of charging for a membership. I would love to see the data they have collected and their logic. I would bet the difference would hinge on the amount of "good will" (per say) they generate from not charging a annual membership fee.
Think of it like this, if you owned 50% of SNE stock would you want to offer a premium membership? I would think the answer is "Yes."
"Especially in the online area, we are studying the possibility of introducing a subscription model, offering premium content and services, in addition to the current free services."
From my reading, I guessing that the current free services -up to date such as free online - will be included to the premium content and services, but will remain as free services for free user as well. There nothing to complain about as long it free online for PSN users.
The statement could change later on or I could have misinterpreted the statement.