Sony BMG Joins Amazon to Sell DRM-Free Music
Sony BMG is the final major label to join Amazon's digital music store in selling music free from restrictive copy-protections, known as Digital Rights Management (DRM). Unlike iTunes and other digital music retailers, the deal "means Amazon is now the only company offering tracks from all four big music companies free of DRM".
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday its digital music store will now offer songs from Sony BMG Music Entertainment without copy-protection technology, or digital rights management.
Amazon said the deal makes it the first retailer to offer customers DRM-free songs from all four major music companies in the MP3 format.
Songs in MP3 format can play on the widest range of digital music players including Apple Inc's iPod, Microsoft Corp's Zune and various mobile phones.
Sony BMG, which is the second largest music company in the world, is home to such artists as Beyonce, Britney Spears and Celine Dion.
Earlier this week, Sony BMG became the last of the four major music companies to start selling its digital songs without copy protection with the launch of its MusicPass service.
Fans of Beyonce, Britney Spears and the Foo Fighters will soon be able to download tracks from these artists that lack copy protection.
Sony has announced a deal to put its entire catalogue of tracks on the Amazon MP3 store by the end of January.
All of the songs on Amazon's store will be free of controversial Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls.
In early January Sony announced a plan to sell gift cards that let customers download albums free of DRM.
The deal means Amazon is now the only company offering tracks from all four big music companies free of DRM.
has agreed to start selling DRM-free music from Amazon's MP3 store.
This comes days after Sony revealed plans for physical MusicPass cards
that would allow DRM-free access to a small portion of Sony's library.
Now that all four major record labels are on board with Amazon, some
are expecting Apple to make moves away from DRM as well. From the
NYTimes: "Sony's partnership with Amazon.com also underscores the music
industry's gathering effort to nurture an online rival to Apple, which
has sold more than three billion songs through its iTunes store. Most
music purchased on iTunes can be played only on Apple devices, and
Apple insists on selling all single tracks for 99 cents. Amazon, which
sells tracks for anywhere from 89 cents to over a dollar, offers the
pricing variability the labels want."[/q]