He told Reuters in an interview that "the subscription model has failed so far."
Jobs made his comments as Apple began contract renewal negotiations with the major record labels. Since its 2003 launch, iTunes has sold more than 2.5 billion songs and now offers TV programs and feature films for download.
Content owners want to rent music online in order to generate more income on a recurring basis. Jobs, however, sees little consumer demand for subscriptions. "People want to own their music," he said.
Rather than offer concessions to the music industry, Reuters said its sources expected Apple to do the pushing, this time for the right to sell music without digital rights management (DRM).
In February, Jobs urged all four major record labels to drop DRM. A short time later, he announced a deal with EMI Group to sell music without copy-protection software.
Jobs said that by the end of this year, more than half of the songs the company offered on iTunes would be distributed in DRM-free versions.