Blog Post

EMI & Apple’s Announcement Tomorrow Morning: DRM-Free: Reports

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Update 1: Reuters says citing sources that the Beatles deal is not part of the announcement.
Update 2: WSJ is also reporting that the announcement is about DRM-free songs, not Beatles…it will be a significant part of its catalog, on iTunes to start with and then possibly other outlets. And this point in the WSJ story is very pertinent as well: “EMI’s decision, if it’s followed by other major recording companies, could also lessen growing political pressure on Apple by consumer rights organizations in several European countries, including Norway, that want to see Apple make its digital music products, iTunes and the iPod, work with songs and hardware from other companies.”
Original post: Speculation is building, as EMI is holding a press conference early morning tomorrow (8 AM EST/5 AM PST) in London, for some major announcement. It will be one out of the two possibilities: Beatles finally coming online (most likely through Apple iTunes); or EMI’s launch of DRM-free music also through iTunes, both of which are expected, but just a matter of timing. The press conference will be webcast live online, so watch out here on EMI’s website (if not on the homepage then check the investor page close to the time).
Variety: Announcement, if it does indeed involve the Beatles, would occur on the 40th anniversary of the final recording session for their landmark album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Move would leave Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney’s solo works as the remaining major catalog items not available on iTunes.
@ CTIA: Keynote: Eric Nicoli, CEO, EMI
EMI-Sites Non-DRM Music Talks On Hold; Advance Payment An Issue
This Just In: Steve Jobs To Music DRM: Drop Dead
Beatles To Debut Only On iTunes?

One Response to “EMI & Apple’s Announcement Tomorrow Morning: DRM-Free: Reports”

  1. Members of the iTunes "cult" are unbelieveable. Reality check: Jobs' "manifesto" was nothing more than politically-correct propaganda; if he really gave two about helping consumers enjoy more music without the obstacles of DRM, he would have licensed FairPlay so that the people who bought his beloved iPod weren't locked into his store. Throwing the blame back on the record labels is perhaps a brilliant PR move, but for those who haven't yet sipped the Kool-Aid from his "holy grail" it is an entirely transparent effort to divert attention from his own longstanding greed and public manipulation.

    As for this latest potential effort to demonstrate his altruistic motives by agreeing to shill EMI's catalog sans DRM, why don't you ask how much of iTunes' sales is comprised of music from EMI's catalog; you will soon see that this is quite a grand PR gesture, but it is a fairly inconsequential "risk" for iTunes to take and should not in any way divert any of the heat Apple is taking from European consumer rights organizations.