We know Apple already offers music DRM-free through iTunes Plus from EMI, and are convinced reports Sony BMG is already preparing its music for introduction through the service, now it seems the two remaining majors Warner and Universal, are in “discussions” to offer their music DRM-free through Apple’s service as well.
That’s over a year since EMI signed-up, and in the meantime the majors have left the majority of legitimate music consumers, who overwhelmingly use iTunes, consigned to purchasing a flawed, DRM-laden product.
Sony Pictures Television has reached another interesting deal with iTunes, offering its all-new legal drama, ‘Canterbury’s Law’ for purchase through the UK arm of the service.
It’s not the first television series the company has introduced into the UK market in this way – both Damages and Rescue Me (the first episode of the latter was made available free) also reached these shores through iTunes.
EMI continues to refocus itself as a Web 2.0 music company, working to connect music makers with their fans..
…now as part of the deal to raise the value of music beyond that of a commodity, the company has appointed former MyCokeMusic leader, Rafael McDonnell to the new role of vice president – brand partnerships, licensing and synchronization for the UK and Ireland.
We like what they’re saying, to be blunt. The label seems prepared to make the transition away from music retail and toward relationship management, working to bring fans and bands closer together, which is exactly what most people have been saying all the labels should do.
We think EMI’s extensive recent root and branch reorganisation means it’s closer than most to achieving that dream.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has signed-up to offer an iTunes Digital Copy of the film on the DVD or Blu-ray versions of the movie sold in the US from January 6.
UK and US customers who purchase a DVD also get an additional Digital Copy of the movie which can be popped inside iTunes, and then played back on the computer or Apple’s range of digital devices.
This means iTunes, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV owners will be able to extract a legitimate copy of the film for playback on their computers and digital devices when they buy the disc. Sony will also offer versions for playback on Windows PCs and the PlayStation Portable.
Major labels are happy now to sell DRM-free music through retailers such as Amazon and 7Digital, but Apple remains locked out, with three of the four majors denying it permission to sell tracks DRM-free through its iTunes Plus service – even though it’s the largest US music retailer. But this may soon change.
US album sales in October declined 19.4 per cent year on year, according to the latest SoundScan numbers as reported by Coolfer.
That’s steeper decline than 2008 has been as a year, but quite possibly attributable to a relatively weak summer release schedule (just watch the action hot up from mid-October on), the US elections and – principally – the economic downturn which will have a huge impact on music sales.
Why will recession have such an impact on music sales? Because years of litigation against customers has driven a schism between US music consumers and US labels, sadly to the detriment of all concerned, including the artists.