EMI Music launches DRM-Free iTunes downloads in higher-quality

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple today announced that EMI Music's entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes Store worldwide in May.



DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song, Apple said.



iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog, currently over five million songs, in the same versions as today -- 128 kbps AAC encoding with DRM -- at the same price of 99 cents per song, alongside DRM-free higher quality versions when available.



"We are going to give iTunes customers a choice -- the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year."



With DRM-free music from the EMI catalog, iTunes customers will have the ability to download tracks from their favorite EMI artists without any usage restrictions that limit the types of devices or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on. DRM-free songs purchased from the iTunes Store will be encoded in AAC at 256 kbps, twice the current bit rate of 128 kbps, and will play on all iPods, Mac or Windows computers, Apple TVs and soon iPhones, as well as many other digital music players.



"EMI and iTunes are once again teaming up to move the digital music industry forward by giving music fans higher quality audio that is virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings, with no usage restrictions on the music they love from their favorite artists," said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group.



iTunes will also offer customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free format for 30 cents a song. All EMI music videos will also be available in DRM-free format with no change in price.



Apple's iTunes Store features the world's largest catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and over 400 movies. It has sold over two billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies, making it the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store.



For a list of popular EMI bands, see this Wikipedia page.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 160
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,586member
    Great news
  • Reply 2 of 160
    frank_tfrank_t Posts: 428member
    Congrats Apple and EMI!
  • Reply 3 of 160
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    It sucks though they now offer it for 1.29. Seems Steve Jobs couldn't keep it at 0.99 because that is what he wanted all along! It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them.
  • Reply 4 of 160
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Win-Win all round. Fantastic.



    After a suitable period of denial expect the other majors to fall in line. This is a realistic workable model.
  • Reply 5 of 160
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    It sucks though they now offer it for 1.29. Seems Steve Jobs couldn't keep it at 0.99 because that is what he wanted all along! It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them.



    Albums cost the same and the encoding rate is doubled. Life in the real world is a negotiation.
  • Reply 6 of 160
    syklee26syklee26 Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    It sucks though they now offer it for 1.29. Seems Steve Jobs couldn't keep it at 0.99 because that is what he wanted all along! It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them.



    i think asking for DRM free file at $0.99 is just too much. remember, EMI is taking a HUGE risk by doing this. kudos to EMI for showing some guts to actually try this.



    Remember, stripping DRM also has an impact on iTunes sales too. It probably isn't huge but Apple could lose a little bit of market here.
  • Reply 7 of 160
    mcdaviesmcdavies Posts: 43member
    Ok Steve, I'll buy a video now. But, I hope to see some of my money back in the stock price.
  • Reply 8 of 160
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    It sucks though they now offer it for 1.29. Seems Steve Jobs couldn't keep it at 0.99 because that is what he wanted all along! It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them.



    Because choice is bad? If no-DRM isn't a compelling choice for $0.30 more then the consumers will have spoken that to the masses non-invasive DRM (unlike Sony's rootkit) is just fine if costs are lower. That and 128 kbps is also fine for most folks.



    I'd say the $0.30 is worth it...



    Vinea
  • Reply 9 of 160
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McDavies View Post


    Ok Steve, I'll buy a video now. But, I hope to see some of my money back in the stock price.



    This is only the beginning. Fast your seatbelt's.
  • Reply 10 of 160
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by syklee26 View Post


    Remember, stripping DRM also has an impact on iTunes sales too. It probably isn't huge but Apple could lose a little bit of market here.



    iTunes sales or iPod sales? I dunno about either really but eh, it would be interesting to hear why you think that? More torrents based on iTunes downloads? I'd think everything on iTunes is already available...



    Vinea
  • Reply 11 of 160
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post


    Albums cost the same and the encoding rate is doubled. Life in the real world is a negotiation.



    Is the album with DRM or no? Whatever, it's a pretty cool announcement. Steve is a shrewd negotiator. Labels (i'm assuming the others will come on board eventually) get the price hike they want, people get the DRM-free / higher quality option.



    It will sure make a lot of people on this board happy! I recall many people saying they'd pay more for a higher quality download.
  • Reply 12 of 160
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 903member
    I had to double check that this wasn't posted on April 1st.
  • Reply 13 of 160
    jonnyboyjonnyboy Posts: 525member
    here's hoping this is step 1 on the road to the death of drm.



    step two? microsoft
  • Reply 14 of 160
    This is awesome, one more step and I'll actually start purchasing digital music on a regular basis. All I want now is to have albums come with PDF artwork/booklets like a few special releases do already. Even without that I'll be much more likely to make spur of the moment purchases now that I get the higher quality and don't have to worry about DRM. I soooo hope the other labels follow relatively soon!
  • Reply 15 of 160
    floccusfloccus Posts: 138member
    So, the question now is though, how does this affect the goings on in Europe over iTunes being closed off to other systems? Now people can buy their songs through iTunes and put them on any player (that supports AAC). Seems like users now should demand that manufacturers start putting out players that can handle AAC, since Apple came 1/2 way. But they'll probably complain about how the horrible WM format can't be used on an iPod and thus the lawsuits and legislation will continue.
  • Reply 16 of 160
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flounder View Post


    Is the album with DRM or no?



    According to the BBC, non-DRM albums will be the same price as DRMd albums. That makes sense as otherwise the albums would end up £2-3 more than buying a CD.



    "By contrast albums free of DRM and those with it will be the same price."



    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6516189.stm



    They also did a silly rough $ to £ conversion for the upgrade charge too quoting it as 15p when it's actually 20p, even though 15p would actually be more realistic.
  • Reply 17 of 160
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by floccus View Post


    So, the question now is though, how does this affect the goings on in Europe over iTunes being closed off to other systems? Now people can buy their songs through iTunes and put them on any player (that supports AAC). Seems like users now should demand that manufacturers start putting out players that can handle AAC, since Apple came 1/2 way. But they'll probably complain about how the horrible WM format can't be used on an iPod and thus the lawsuits and legislation will continue.



    And so they should until the last online store has given up DRM and restricting customer rights.
  • Reply 18 of 160
    doemeldoemel Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    It sucks though they now offer it for 1.29. Seems Steve Jobs couldn't keep it at 0.99 because that is what he wanted all along! It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them.



    bit*h bit*h nag nag... whatever. they could probably offer you the music for free and on a silver plate and you'd still complain...
  • Reply 19 of 160
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,381member
    Anyone noticed that EMI said this would be available worldwide?

    Does this mean that countries without an Apple store can purchase from EMI now?



    ps.

    So what's the audio quality on a music video anyway?

    Can people upgrade from audio to video?
  • Reply 20 of 160
    huerixhuerix Posts: 15member
    Steve was right; If the labels can offer DRM free music in the form of CD's then this is a logical next step. Make it more convenient for the consumer and they will GO FOR IT! Kudos to the AAPL team for getting a label on board, 0.30 premium makes perfect sense, other labels should do the same soon! Imagine serving the consumer instead of lawyering them heavily... what a great day for digital rights.
Sign In or Register to comment.