Amazon and Wal-Mart push labels to ditch DRM

By on December 3, 2007, 4:43 PM
EMI, Universal and a bunch of smaller labels have been selling DRM-free songs through various online stores for some time now, but Sony BMG and Warner Music may soon start releasing music through the unrestrictive MP3 format as well, if Amazon and Wal-Mart get their way.

Amazon is set to announce a promotional giveaway of one billion MP3s during next year’s Super Bowl. However, it is crucial that these songs are given away without DRM so that they can played back on any device, specially on the dominant iPod. While negotiations are said to be ongoing with Sony, it is not clear whether or not any deal will be reached.

Wal-Mart, for its part, has reportedly given an ultimatum to some of the largest record labels, including Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, demanding they make protection-free tracks available in 2008 “or else”. While Wal-Mart is far from being a major player in the digital music scene, many speculate that the retailer could leverage its whopping 22 percent share of all physical CD sales in the U.S. to get the labels to cave in. It looks like 2008 will be an interesting year for the fight against DRM.




User Comments: 2

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windmill007 said:
This is awesome news. Now once they get them all using mp3 they need to start adjusting the prices and offering better quality. I don't use anything less then 320K varible bitrate on my mp3's. Anything lower and you can hear the loss in fidelity in any quality system. They need to offer lower prices. When you get down below 50cents a song then maybe I will purchase. Untill then I still have to find my music elsewhere to get the quality and it just happens to be free :)
canadian said:
I hate how you currently have to pay more to purchase the same songs, DRM free like they should be in the first place.
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