Archive for 3rd April 2007

A New Era in Digital Music — DRM-Free

Wow, it’s finally happened. Hell has frozen over. In May, EMI will start selling songs on the iTunes Music Store without DRM in AAC format at the higher bitrate of 256 kbps! USD $1.29 per song, while album pricing remains unchanged.

AAC can be played on most current Digital Audio Players, not just iPods. Make no mistake — this is a landmark day for digital distribution of music, and it’s now only a matter of time before the other major players sign-up and offer the same thing. This is one of those times where I’m glad we have Steve Jobs to do what he is good at (even I can’t see Bill Gates getting such a deal out of EMI)!

I think it’s a great win-win for all. EMI gets the price hike they wanted, consumers get DRM-free music at a higher quality (helps justify the higher price), and Apple gets an instant halving in iPod capacity. The new pricing structure will also encourage consumers to look towards buying whole albums again, but at least they won’t be screwed over because you can upgrade existing purchases to the new DRM-free AACs for USD $0.30 per song. Increased sales and great PR for massive damage.

This is great news and might mark the start of digital music purchases for me! Wow, I’m actually excited… (I still hate iTMS, but since there is no DRM I can safely run it inside a Windows XP VM or something.)

EMI press release: EMI Music launches DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire

2 comments 13 years, 4 months ago


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