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Monday, April 02, 2007

EMI to offer DRM-Free Music over iTunes

EMI will be launching DRM-free superior quality downloads across its entire digital repository from today. The new, higher quality DRM-free service will first be available at the iTunes Store. It is speculated that this decision was reached in response to consumer demand for high fidelity digital music for use on home music systems, mobile phones and digital music players.

The press release quotes as : "Our goal is to give consumers the best possible digital music experience. By providing DRM-free downloads, we aim to address the lack of interoperability which is frustrating for many music fans. We believe that offering consumers the opportunity to buy higher quality tracks and listen to them on the device or platform of their choice will boost sales of digital music. Apple have been a true pioneer in digital music, and we are delighted that they share our vision of an interoperable market that provides consumers with greater choice, quality, convenience and value for money."

Meanwhile, Apple has announced that iTunes will make individual AAC format tracks available from EMI artists at twice the sound quality of existing downloads, with their DRM removed, at a price of $1.29. This will not replace the old songs, which will still be available as they were. Complete albums from EMI Music artists purchased on the iTunes Store will automatically be sold at the higher sound quality and DRM-free, with no change in the price. Consumers who have already purchased standard tracks or albums with DRM will be able to upgrade their digital music for $0.30/€0.30/£0.20 per track. All EMI music videos will also be available on the iTunes Store DRM-free with no change in price.

I guess selling digital music DRM-free is the right step forward for the music industry!! Hope EMI doesn't change it's mind given yesterday was April 1st.