UK online music retailer, Play.com’s PlayDigital service has reached a deal with all four majors in order to offer music for sale and download in DRM-free MP3 format – and is openly targeting Apple’s iTunes market on price and more (they supplied the image, for example).
The new service is selling tracks at prices from 65p each, as opposed to iTunes’ 79p, while album prices start at £4.99.
Play.com notes that its success in reaching the deal puts it ahead of most other retailer music services in the UK, including those from Amazon, HMV and Tesco. None of these yet offer music DRM-free in the UK – only 7digital matches Play.com’s offer.
EMI and a number of independent labels were already on-board at the launch of PlayDigital in February 2008, and the addition of catalogue from Sony BMG, Warner Music and Universal Music means there’s over three million tracks available for download.
Wendy Snowdon, head of PlayDigital says, “It was only a matter of time before the other three major labels came on board and we now have an offer to rival that of iTunes, yet in a format that gives the consumer choice and at a more appealing price. PlayDigital has been a phenomenal success since launch and now armed with the full back catalogue and current releases from the all majors we are fantastically placed to take a bigger bite of the apple.”
Snowdon continued: “Artists including Kaiser Chiefs, Keane, Snow Patrol and Razorlight are all now available through PlayDigital and our pricing strategy ensures that we can start to steal even more market share. With the top 100 tracks available from 65p each compared to 79p on iTunes and albums from £4.99 which is £1 cheaper than iTunes, PlayDigital is the cheapest destination for music downloads, full stop.”