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HMV.com will this month become the latest site to offer two of this year’s key music trends – DRM-free MP3 downloads and on-site streaming of tracks. The retailer had already offered DRM-free but is now beefing up the MP3 format specifically.
The additions will come as an upgrade to the £5.99-a-month subscription hmv.jukebox service, which is Windows-only but which says it will offer four million tracks for streaming. In fact, hmv.jukebox is currently broken and assumes all of my browsers are Firefox, with which it does not work, despite trying Internet Explorer and Safari.
CEO Simon Fox made the announcement this morning in an interim trading statement that showed sales were up 4.3 percent in the UK and Ireland in the quarter to August 30, on sales of games and gadgets. Without the Harry Potter effect, Waterstones book sales were down 1.7 percent, “reflecting a weaker book market”, but the bookseller began its exclusive carriage of Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) new e-book reader yesterday, with a number of books for sale on waterstones.com.
For more on the changing landscape of the music industry, go to our EconMusic conference at the Natural History Museum in London. We have a special back-to-work rate going for this week only.