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Finally I Can Get Behind Digital Music

Thank you, EMI, the first of what will become many record labels to begin selling (via iTunes) their music online at 256kbps in AAC format without DRM. Individual songs will cost $1.29, but albums will still be the same price. I'm very excited about this. Suddenly, all those single songs I own because the entire album sucks will be legit. I still won't buy full albums this way, because digital libraries are still lame to me, but I'm tempted to, just to support this new model.

DRM is about to die a slow, painful death.

Edit: Reading the official Apple press release, it appears they are planning on phasing out DRM completely. Here is the excerpt:
"We are going to give iTunes customers a choice—the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year."
-http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/02itunes.html

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
chris462
Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
It'll be interesting to see how this effects the profitability of the iTunes Store.

To date, the iTunes Store's profitability has been marginal, according to all the reports I've read, and serves as a way to sell and support iPods. With the Store being blown wide open, it's now available to anyone with an AAC-compatible MP3 Player.

The theory is that a larger market will boost revenues and increase profit. It'll be interesting to see what actually happens. :)

I don't see iPod sales declining anytime soon, though. Very few people, by Jobs' own admission, have iPods full of DRMed music.
happinessiseasy
Apr. 2nd, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
I don't see it affecting iPod sales negatively either. It will probably boost PMP sales positively in general, which will help iPods.

Megan and I own 2 iPods collectively and we own 40 gigs of DRM-free music, so we contribute to that statistic.
chris462
Apr. 2nd, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Well I'm probably a good example of the "typical" case. 600 of my 7850 songs are from the iTunes store, but a large majority of them are freebies. I got more than 250 in the iTunes/Pepsi giveaway over two years and got all 10 of the "Back to School" facebook samplers, giving me another 250.

Factor in the "download of the week" and I've spent roughly $75 at the iTunes Store. Even then, at least half of that is from gift cards given to me for Christmas and my Birthday.

At double the bitrate and without the DRM, however, I'm in the same boat as you -- Buying digtal downloads are suddenly a lot more appealing. Keep the albums marked at $10 or so and I'll be a lot more inclined to make impulse buys, as well.
happinessiseasy
Apr. 2nd, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
I might care about the free song giveaways, too. I got the download of the week for a while, but even at FREE I couldn't stand the DRM and low bitrate issues. I hope they start giving out songs on Pepsi bottles again. Hell, I might even consider an iTunes gift card a viable gift now lol.

I wonder if the single of the week is an EMI band they'll give the 256k one?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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