It’s the beginning of the end of DRM. Apple will soon start selling DRM-free music from the EMI back catalogue — but you’ll have to pay a little more for it.
The higher price will apply only to single tracks that customers download. On iTunes EMI tracks free of digital rights management (DRM) software will cost $1.29 (99p). Itunes users will be able to upgrade previously purchased EMI songs and albums for 30 cents (15p) a track. Fans will be able to buy “premium” tracks in a variety of bit rates will be of better quality than existing downloads varying qualities up to CD-twice the sound quality of currently available EMI tracks.
Quick prediction: the rest of the music industry will be falling into line faster than you can say “Abbey Road was better than Let It Be.”
More comment and analysis on this coming later…