Amazon To Launch DRM-Less Digital Music Store; EMI First Major Tenant

It’s official … Amazon has put together enough pieces to announce plans to launch a digital music store later this year. In its release this morning, the company says it will offer “millions of songs in the DRM-free MP3 format from more than 12,000 labels”. The first major label on board: EMI, which will offer its entire digital catalog — the higher-quality, DRM-free, premium versions — via Amazon. It didn’t provide any pricing details, or any plans, whether subscription or downloads.

Apple has a similar deal with EMI, where it will sell the MP3 tracks later this month for $1.29 each — that’s 30 cents more than usual.

DJN: Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, said Amazon’s push could, ironically, yield more sales of Apple’s iPods. “It might help Apple because they are selling unprotected music, which is something Steve Jobs (Apple’s CEO) has been pushing for,” said Wu, noting Amazon sells many iPods on its site and that its service will give consumers more music choice.


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