Sony BMG, DRM Free, Heads To Amazon
The glaringly missing online component to Sony BMG’s plan to sell music without DRM turned out to be a newly revealed deal with Amazon.com.
When we heard from Sony BMG’s rep about the DRM free plan, we asked if an online option would be forthcoming. What we got back from them was indistinguishable from John Cage’s 4’33".
Now we know why. News has begun to trickle out from Amazon about a deal with Sony BMG to sell digital music by its artists later this month.
Amazon said its agreement with Sony BMG makes it the first music retailer to offer DRM free songs from the four major labels: Warner, Universal, EMI, and Sony.
This situation also makes Amazon a player with the whole gamut of MP3 player manufacturers. Apple’s iPods and Microsoft’s Zunes both accept MP3s, as do a host of other devices.
Amazon is trying to play nicely with Apple and Microsoft, with an MP3 downloader application that automatically adds purchased music to either iTunes or Windows Media Player as desired. That makes sense, as Amazon sells both the Zune and the iPod in its electronics store.
Now that the music will be out there, easy to purchase legally, as an MP3 format song, the music labels hope people will choose that option rather than the peer to peer trading the labels detest.
There will always be people who opt for a price of free for music, no matter what pricing exists. But if some of the people who trade music choose to buy it instead, the labels gain a piece of a sale that they wouldn’t have at all in years past.