While EMI’s Monday event announcing the
coming availability of DRM-free digital music
focused on the iTunes Store, that won’t be the only online service to benefit from the record label’s new policy. EMI’s entire DRM-free catalog is fair game for all major online music stores and those stores are showing their support for the decision.
“[Monday’s] announcement by EMI is an important step forward for the online music industry,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of
RealNetworks, which operates the
Rhapsody music service
“This moves us closer than ever to the day when consumers will be able to buy their favorite music via Rhapsody and enjoy it on their iPod or any other music-playing device.”
EMI will encode its DRM-free songs at a higher rate, making them more attractive to end-users. The songs will cost a bit more, though—at the iTunes Store, DRM-free songs will cost $1.29, while tracks with the digital-rights management technology will cost 99 cents.
“We think this is great news for the music industry and a big win for customers,” said David Pakman,
president and CEO. “Digital retailers will now have a product customers truly want to buy because it offers high quality and flexibility. Universal compatibility and experimentation with various business models and different price points will help the music industry to grow again.”
Online music retailers are not the only organizations pledging support for EMI’s decision to offer DRM-free music. The
Consumer Electronics Association
offered its support for the company’s efforts to offer interoperability.
“CEA applauds Apple and EMI Music for recognizing what consumers really want out of their digital music experience—high-resolution recordings worthy of both home and on-the-go listening, along with the freedom to move music among devices,” said Gary Shapiro, the CEA’s president and CEO. “This is the future of digital entertainment.”