January 06, 2009
| by Rachel Cericola
The rumors are actually true. Imagine that? Apple has confirmed that they are going to drop DRM (digital rights management), as well as some of its iTunes prices.
Starting today, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, EMI, and a slew of indie labels, will offer music under an umbrella called iTunes Plus. This is Apple’s DRM-free format, which promises 256 kbps AAC encoding.
If you want better quality on stuff you’ve already bought, they will upgrade it for 30 cents per song or 30 percent of the album price.
Also, once April rolls around, you might make back some of that coin, as well as save on the impulse audio buys. Instead of offering everything for 99 cents, iTunes will have three price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29. Hmmm… we have to wonder what will be $1.29. Will that be the good stuff? It’s more likely that it will be newer music, but Apple does assure that more selections will be priced at the lower end of the spectrum. Albums are expected to hover at the current $9.99 price.
According to the announcement, 8 million of the 10 million songs will be available DRM-free starting today, with the rest coming by the end of March.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.