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Microsoft to boldly go where Apple is already going...eventually

Microsoft changes tune on selling DRM-free songs

Exciting news on the digital music front. Microsoft plans to follow Apple's plan to sell DRM-free tracks from EMI to its extant army of Zune enthusiasts. Welcome to the social:

"The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple," said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels "for some time now" about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.

Way to innovate, Redmond. Once the period of EMI's exclusive deal with Apple has ended, this should make both Zune owners very happy.

[via: Boing Boing: Microsoft dropping DRM from Zune Music Store]

Robert C.'s picture

Yeah, Merlin, it's not an...

Yeah, Merlin, it's not an exclusive deal. The quote at the article you linked to is an analyst saying he EXPECTED it to be exclusive for 6 to 12 mos., but that it's actually not exclusive at all.

And yet, it doesn't seem that Microsoft has set a time frame for when they will start to sell DRM-free songs.

Here's a question: if this isn't an iTunes-exclusive deal, why did EMI hold a press conference with Apple?

My guess is a combination of 1) Apple wanted some cred, 2) EMI values iTunes more than all the other digital retailers combined and 3) Bringing Apple to the announcement gives EMI better press coverage and bigger sales.

With that said, Jobs' letter from February helped lay the groundwork for EMI going DRM-free. That's where Apple's leadership has really come into play.




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