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EMI will sell DRM-free music on iTunes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 02 Apr 2007 6:58 User comments (20)

EMI will sell DRM-free music on iTunes In a huge announcement, Apple and EMI have announced that all of EMI's catalogue will be sold through the iTunes music store without DRM. EMI said in the announcements that all the songs will be available for $1.29 and users can upgrade their DRM locked songs to the DRM-free versions for 30 cents if they wish.
The bitrate of all of EMI's tracks will also jump from the now available 128kpbs to excellent quality 256kbps AAC files.
"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," said EMI CEO Eric Nicoli during this morning's press conference.

Customers can still choose to buy the DRM locked, low bitrate tracks for 99 cents.

EMI also said that they would be selling unprotected music videos and albums at the existing prices through iTunes.

We can only hope that the rest of the Big Four labels will watch this revolution closely.


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20 user comments

12.4.2007 7:02

This is some of the better news I've heard lately. Good work EMI!

22.4.2007 7:04

This is great news! Good to see they're taking steps in the right direction, hopefully the other music labels follow suit.

32.4.2007 8:05

im not sure if they are related but itunes said today that they are setting up a store for non-ipod mp3 players. probably just that the non-DRM songs will play on anything.

like i said before i wont stop downloading till songs are a penny and movies are a dollar. so all this news means nothing to me.

42.4.2007 13:01

This is good news and it shows that consumers, in the (long) end, are the winners. While $1.29 is a bit expensive for a song, I would prefer something close to $0.75, I would rather pay $0.30/song more to get non-DRM stuff (~$4.50/CD @ 15-songs per CD). I wonder if they will sell whole albums for something like $14 as a DRM'd album is $10 for an online download.

Yeah, its expensive, almost as much as a single CD (if bought track by track) but its DRM-Free. At least they are starting to get something right.


52.4.2007 13:10

This is good but their sales expectations may be lower than they thought. I mean $1.29 for a DRM song plus .30 cents for a non-DRM encumbered filed. Your looking at nearly a $1.60 a song! Drop the DRM and keep the prices locked at $1 (roughly) and you would have yourself a interesting business deal.

62.4.2007 13:23

Why are they charging a premium they are the idiots that payed for DRM which costs money then they pass the buck to us which most people were not happy about. So the DRM is there no need for time or wasted tech shouldnt this be cheaper. At least this is a start but I sure as hell wont bite.

72.4.2007 13:27

EMI are still one of the "BIG 4" cartel which is attacking the file sharing community, and with the RIAA chasing children and invading peoples privacy.
I still boycott these fat b***ards.

Keep it small.. Keep it independent.

82.4.2007 16:09

What happened to Steve Jobs' firm stance on the 99 download? This just opens the gates for a higher pricing scheme throughout all of iTunes.

92.4.2007 17:53

Until they start to get reasonable on their pricing without the DRM, I will still not buy this.

Charging extra for non- DRM music is stupid. It should not have been there in the first place!

103.4.2007 7:41

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Apr 2007 @ 7:41

113.4.2007 16:16

Might want to edit the article, it sounds like form DRM free you have to add 30cents to $1.29.

124.4.2007 8:17

I wonder if they upped the bit rate just so it didn't look like they using DRM as a way to hold media ransom for an extra $0.30.

135.4.2007 9:28

I admit that most of this stuff is "over" my head, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna shell out another .30 cents to those fat cats. Sucks, as far as I'm concerned.

145.4.2007 14:43

Diddo to Pop_Smith. I'm willing to pay, but not $1.59 per song. I might as well go to Best Buy and get the physical CD. $1.59 is pretty darn expensive for a digital materials or shipping cost involved like with a CD at Best Buy. Why would anyone pay that is beyond me. At 10 songs (equal to or LESS than the average CD) would cost $15.90. Where is the advantage of digital format? Total price should be around 30-40 cents per DRM-free song, not 30 cents plus $1.29. I believe keeping the price around $5 per album will keep a lot of people from illegal downloading. For me this is the equalibrium price where consumer and artist both win.

155.4.2007 15:03

It is 1.29 for both, not 1.59

You can upgrade from your 99 cent DRM track for another 30 cents

99+30=1.29 :)

165.4.2007 19:50

Perhaps one of the tech wise personnel working for the RIAA or Itunes pointed out the fact that all you had to do is burn all the music you buy to CD to keep as a backup (for that Microsoft future CRASH!) and then rip it back stripping away all that DRM and (wasting all that development and implementation time. IE... R&D) delete the original files to save on storage and have a viable product that will not only work on IPODs, but any other MP3 player. Funny thing is that I got this tip off of a non-Ipod MP3 player website.

175.4.2007 21:36

The higher bitrate would justify the higher price. I for one rip all of my personal music at 256 or 320 bitrate.

HOWEVER the point is still valid that 1.29 for a song is pretty steep if not ridiculous...

however many of sheeple who already feed at the iTunes trough will jump on this which will show the higher value placed on DRM free and higher bitrate content... and hopefully the other big boys will step up as well. Then all we would have to address is the price issue.

As for NON-DRM songs AT REASONABLE PRICES.... is still in business (and again...LEGAL under certain circumstances that may or may not apply to you if you do not live in Russia or the US)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Apr 2007 @ 21:37

186.4.2007 8:32

Since I've more or less gotten envolved in this subject, I find I'm learning more and more from you guys. I've learned how to rip a dvd movie to make a backup copy...but to rip your music after I've made a copy of it from Itune, is NEW to me. How does one go about that little jobie? Please, don't all yell at me, if I sound stupid..that's why I'm a newbie...

196.4.2007 13:19

@miata, after you burn your songs you purchased from iTunes onto a CD, just keep the CD in the drive and then click rip. Make sure you have iTunes set up to import files into the mp3 format (Edit - Preferences - Advanced - Importing. Now the songs will be on your hard drive and in your libraru in the mp3 format.

I have to agree with everyone. $1.29 is WAY too much to pay for a single song, especially when you can just go to and purchase the original CDs in the case for 6.99. And there is no shipping charge. Sure beats that expensive price for a single song.

Long live the CD!

2010.4.2007 3:42

This is good news! EMI is more forward thinging than the rest of the pack. I was always amazed that people would buy more expensive, poor quality and crippeled to boot tunes over CD tunes. They still have a way to go to be reasonable. Still I rejoyce anytime big business gets a bit smarter.

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