Sony BMG to Offer DRM-Free Music

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Businessweek reports that Sony BMG is the last of the four major record labels to agree to offer their music for sale without Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions. The news comes a week after Warner announced it had added its catalog to Amazon's DRM-Free MP3 store.

    This new DRM-free music agreement will be in place for the upcoming Pepsi/Amazon Superbowl promo, in which 1 billion songs will be given away.

    These unrestricted MP3s will work with Apple's iTunes and iPod, with added benefit for the record labels to take some power away from Apple's iTunes store which continues to hold the majority of digital music marketshare.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL

    The mine-mine-mine philosophy comes to an end.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2007
    The same Sony BMG that installed spyware via their proprietary media player, wrecking numerous Windows machines a year or so ago?
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2003
    In the Bowels of the Cosmos
    For the industry as a whole this is good DRM on music is what consumers want. Question is what price are they going to stabilize at. 99cents for old tracks? $2.49 for new ones?

    I'm curious what would be the ultimate pricing structure....
  5. macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    The funny thing is, they're playing right into Apple's hands.

    It's a logistical burden to manage the iTunes Music Store, and for little direct profit. With some competition out there, it allows Apple to reduce some of their operating expenditure of hosting such a large library but they'll still reap the profit.


    Well, unless competitors come out with more appealing hardware than iPod, and a more user-friendly, convenient integration system than iTunes for managing content between computer and Mp3 player, iPod will continue to dominate the market.

    The beauty of Steve Jobs is not that he is a master marketer, but that he knows how to turn just about any situation to his advantage no matter what the competition does.

  6. macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2002
    So, does that mean iTunes Plus from Sony/BMG coming very soon?
  7. macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2005
    Actually, most people don't even know what DRM is.
  8. macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2007
    I would be interested if that automatically translates into ITMS being allowed to offer iTunes+. I would rather buy a 256kBits HE-AAC than a MP3.
    Plus Amazon is not available in Germany :(
  9. macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    this sucks

    there goes apple

    now it will file bankrupt
  10. macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2002
    Denver, CO
    It's like watching an infant try and make their first steps.
    Only not as cute or fun.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2008
    I just don't get it.

    I prefer iTunes (i don't care if it costs a bit more than others), and the only other online store I use for my DJing is beatport. The only quarm i have is i'd like longer previews.

    So the labels that are not with iTunes are just missing out on my money.... I'm not the only one who thinks like this.

    It's sad that record labels can be like they are.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Oh yes this is going to hurt Apple so much seeing as how these songs are compatible with the iPod :rolleyes:
  13. macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2006
    More then likely not very quickly.
    The companies seem to be going this route with Amazon in an attempt to reduce the market power iTunes has.
    What I don't understand is, if you have consumers or customers, who are buying your products, and this seems to be the only way they are buying them now (digital v. physical) why try to make it more difficult then for the consumer? That's not even a technological question, its just plain smart business.

  14. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Now all we need is for these guys to recognize that there is more to the world than just the United States.
  15. macrumors regular

    May 6, 2002
    In 5 years, DRM will be ancient history and we'll look back and wonder why anyone ever put up with it in the first place.
  16. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    The only problem is that iTunes isn't what it used to be in the Windows market. I like the interface, however it's just to fat. I actually bought my first MAC a year ago largely due to the horrible performance of iTunes for Windows. Don't underestimate how important the iTunes/iPod lock-in has been for Apple. The good news is that this might force Apple to step up their game on PC's.

    While I agree that this is good thing in the short term (I refuse to buy DRM'ed music), this is just a first move in a long term strategy to increase the cost per song. If the recording industry was serious about removing DRM, they wouldn't be locking out iTMS.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Canada doesn't count.
  18. macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2003
    I don't understand why the labels want to take "power" away from the iTMS. Do they try to take power away from other retail outlets like WalMart, HMV, or Virgin?

    The iTMS is just a store. It makes them money - it's in their best interests to support the iTMS - especially since that's where all the iPod users are going to end up shopping. They're not going to go to some random music web site that they don't even know where it is. In fact, most of my relatives can barely find Amazon - when they remember that it exists - and they do own iPods.
  19. macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Nov 9, 2007
    Troy, MT
    The music labels have opened up and realized that the needs and desires of customers will continue doing the limewire thing until there is no need for it.

    This is a major step in fixing the illegal sharing, however....and I totally agree with Trev....Opening up the DRM Free to only Amazon is really stupid and childish in the fact that they "think" they are sticking it to Apple when in all reality they are just hurting themselves and the artists with their childish "We can hurt Apple". What they fail to realize is that by opening their DRM free libraries they would double/triple their profits catering to those customers that buy the most music. Apple could really care less because their iPods and the like will continue being the number one PMP.

    So...with that said: Great job and taking the DRM Free step Music Labels, now lets get over this child tantrum attitude and share with everyone...let the artists earn what they work for by expanding the market so that all can purchase where they want!!!
  20. macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
  21. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Because iTMS doesn't allow for variable pricing. The labels feel that some songs are worth more than 99 cents.
  22. macrumors regular


    Sep 5, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    but . . .

    I don't think the DRM issue is as big as many of us on message boards make it; most people in the general public aren't familiar and DRM encoded tracks fit their needs just fine. As long as they can easily access it in iTunes and get it on their iPod (not Zune, Sansa, et al.) they'll bop along on their merry way.

    I do share in the curiosity about pricing. The big four definitely have issues with Apple's "one-size" pricing format, but I wonder what the ultimate consumer reaction will be to such a non-uniform, multi-tiered pricing format. Perhaps they're right in assuming that the desire to have the hot song of the moment will mean more than paying a higher price for that track -- some people already rack up hugh cell charges buying hot ringtones -- but I personally feel that in their ignorance, they overlook the fact that a lot of the success of iTunes is due to it's relative simplicity. Not only in structure, but possibly in pricing. Just one guy's opinion.

    Any other thoughts on probable pricing setups?
  23. macrumors 65816

    Lone Deranger

    Apr 23, 2006
    And so, slowly, one by one they all come crawling back with their tails between their legs. :D
  24. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I wonder if Apple and Amazon couldn't parner on music sales. Amazon does this already with everything else they sell. They always point you to many other supliers even if they have the items. It turns out to be a good deal for everyone.

    So, What if the iTunes store had the ability to sell a track from Amazon? When you buy it Apple passes the money on to Amazon.
  25. macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2003
    A stupid question...

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it these very same music companies in the beginning of all this that made Apple come up with a DRM scheme in the first place?

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