EMI - New product: Higher priced, but DRM-free products?
EMI announces DRM free, vastly improved sound quality songs. More to follow. The format is high-quality MP3, not AAC. The first partner to support this format: Apple's iTunes. Starting in May, EMIs complete digital catalogue will be available as premium MP3, DRM-free. iTunes, however, sells 256 kbps AAC, DRM-free. Price per premium track: 1.29$. Upgrade from standard DRM'd .99 track: 0.30 USD.
Apple continues to sell DRM's AAC 128 kbps, so people have the choice. They estimate that over 50% of all tracks sold at the end of 2007 will also be available in the new format.
1st question: When are the Beatles' tracks going to be available digitally. EMI: "We're working on it." Steve Jobs: "I wanna know that, too!" ;) - Asked whether inplementing a dual system is rather complicated than, Apple's normal way, simple, Steve said: He thinks the way to go will be DRM-free and a tad more expensive, but for the time being, they want to offer the choice, not take away anything. Follow-up question, whether opening would mean lower iPod sales, Steve answers: We're offering the best music store, offering the best music player. Plus: "We're not offering anything today they couldn't get before on CD: Good quality, DRM free music." Good to hear, Apple's not ignoring that. Strange, though, that people outside want to sue Apple about it.
Asked about whether the other big labels will follow: He can't say today, but he thinks they'll follow. Saying that EMI's pioneering here today. This is about a good thing for consumers. And you can't really stop good things.