When will the rest of the music labels join Apple’s DRM-free iTunes Plus?

“All of the major record labels besides EMI have steered clear of iTunes Plus in what seems to be an effort to boost Amazon’s DRM-free, MP3-download store, along with other no-DRM outlets, and thereby ensure that Apple can’t have the music-download business to itself,” Rob Pegoraro blogs for The Washinton Post. “(That, however, still leaves numerous independent labels that sell their work without DRM on Amazon but do not do the same on iTunes.)”

“Either way, this leaves me stuck,” Pegoraro writes. “Why should I spend a dime on a DRM-locked, lower-fidelity iTunes track when–at some point–I’ll wind up spending another 30 cents to upgrade it to Plus? Why not wait until I can get a DRM-free, higher-fidelity copy at the same price?”

“As a result, I’ve only been buying iTunes Plus downloads from Apple. And with the limited selection of them, it may take me a long time to exhaust that $25 credit on my account,” Pegoraro writes.

“I feel like I’m in a tiny, cranky minority here; Apple says it’s now the biggest music retailer in the U.S., so it doesn’t seem to be hurting much. But what about the major record labels themselves? By holding out on Apple, they’re missing the chance to rake in money on iTunes Plus upgrades,” Pegoraro writes.

Full article here.

29 Comments

  1. iTunes Plus tracks are now the same price as regular tracks. But once again, this just goes to show how shortsighted and greedy the music executives are for trying to bite the hand that feeds them. My idea is to line up every single music executive in Los Angeles and shoot them all. I think that’ll do the job. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. yeah… itunes plus is 99 cents a song and 10$ an album. takes all of 10 seconds to check this little fact.

    I only buy iTunes plus or Amazon mp3s anymore. If it’s not available through those then I get a cd. No point in getting drm’d anymore.

  3. As Drell said, the guy’s point is that if he buys a non-EMI song now and wants to later upgrade it to the iTunesPlus version, it’ll cost him the $0.99 now and $0.30 later = $1.29.

    Thats bullcrap. Apple needs to get the same deal Amazon got and offer DRM-free versions from all the major labels.

    I’ve not been buying any iTunes songs because I got pissed when I upgraded 100 songs from EMI –> $30. I’d rather wait and buy the iTunesPlus songs for $0.99.

  4. very short sighted…the windfall from following in the itunes camp exclusively would have been a 30% premium… I think the market would have accepted the $1.29 price for a DRM-free track.

    but now they figured they’ll fight apple by going DRM at 99¢ at Amazon instead.

  5. I didn’t know there could be so much whine outside of Napa valley! It leads me to think people are frugal! Sheeesh! Why not just melt down all of your old pennies. Copper is worth over 3.50$ a pound

  6. Early adopters of iTunes Plus have paid (or are still paying) $0.30 premium. That is, only early adopters. Everyone else (those who waited six months) are paying $0.99, DRM or not.

    Labels are desperately and frantically trying to unseat Apple from the top. Meanwhile, the largest music seller in the US continues to stretch that gap between them and the No. 2 (currently, Wal-Mart). In the download area, Amazon has gained some traction; however, that was entirely at the expense of other download competitors, while iTunes’ share remains (more-or-less) unchanged.

    Throughout the CD era, labels were able to effectively keep dead the concept of ‘the Single’. You like a song, you buy the whole (crap-filled) album. Apple resurrected the single and labels hate this.

    People who are aware what is behind the Amazon initiative don’t buy at Amazon. They continue to buy at iTunes. Not because some fanboism or misplaced loyalty to Apple; they do it because if Apple and iTunes lose, consumers lose with them. The deals between labels and Amazon (and similar other ones) will only last so long. As soon as they have server their purpose (and Apple is dethroned), labels will begin setting conditions (DRM, album-only sales, premium pricing, bundling with “special features”, etc.).

    This won’t happen, though. Consumers like the convenience of iTunes. They don’t like the clunkiness of Amazon. Eventually, we will all soon see all other labels join EMI and offer their DRM-free tracks on iTunes.

  7. Just because no one has mentioned it yet…

    Not all EMI tracks are DRM free yet either. I am in the same boat as the author in that I absolutely *refuse* to buy DRM stuff, so I check iTunes daily (sometimes hourly) for titles and no way is all the EMI catalogue even converted yet.

    So while the immoral collusion of the record companies is mostly to blame, Apple has been very poor indeed in updating it’s catalogue in general.

  8. In 1962, the cent’s tin content, which was quite small, was removed. That made the metal composition of the cent 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc.
    The alloy remained 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc until 1982, when the composition was changed to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper (copper-plated zinc)..

    So melt your pre-’82 pennies if you want. Oh wait, illegal. Never-mind.

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