7digital this morning hosted a high profile media event during which it unveiled a range of high-powered initiatives and launched for business into the US and across more of Europe.
Leading the announcements came news 7digital has reached a deal with Sony BMG to offer music from that label DRM-free in MP3 format – all the four million songs sold through the service are now available DRM-free in MP3.
This is highly significant, and means 7digital is the first digital music store in Europe to offer downloads from all four major labels, Sony BMG, Universal Music, Warner Music and EMI Records.
Tracks are sold free of DRM rights restriction as high-quality (320kbps) MP3 files – better quality than offered by iTunes Plus.
7digital will upgrade all previously purchased Sony BMG tracks to the MP3 format. Previously purchased music in WMA format will be upgraded to MP3 for free.
Ben Drury, CEO of 7digital.com said, “We are extremely happy to be the first and only digital media company providing a full catalogue of MP3 music for the increasing number of people who are using the internet to download music onto different devices. The high-quality DRM-free MP3 format is what digital music consumers have been waiting for. It is a universal download format that can be copied and played on multiple devices including iPods, iPhones, Blackberries and other devices.
“Consumers see DRM as somewhat of a hindrance when purchasing legal digital music. The availability of all of the big four music labels in high-quality MP3 is fantastic news for the UK music fan – everything they now buy from us they can be sure will work on all their devices. We’ve seen a huge increase in sales since making MP3 downloads available on 7digital.com.”
To mark that its entire catalogue is now available DRM-free, the service is offering a range of selected albums (from Queen, the Magic Numbers, Sigur Ros and others) for sale at prices as low as £2 – and is also offering two albums for free download. The first features a sample of artists from EMI Music’s extensive catalogue and the second is a selection of top acts from 7digital indiestore.
After seeing some success in the UK, 7digital has also now opened for business across Europe and the US – story here.