You’ve been waiting for DRM-free music from all the major labels through iTunes, right? We reported on a “blink-and-you-miss-it” moment when tracks from majors blipped briefly in Apple’s iTunes Plus line-up? Just WTF is going down?
Negotiations may be narrowing toward closure – though at this point nothing is certain – will the labels join in or not? It’s late-night stone-faced deal make/break hardball, we reckon…
Out on the perimeter, reports are now coming in which explain just why the majors haven’t crossed the ‘T’s and dotted the ‘i’s just yet – and, it seems, each label is hard-faced on closing the deal on different points….
Microsoft has introduced its new upgraded Xbox Experience for Xbox Live. New features in this release include streaming of TV shows and films through Netflix (in the US, so far), the ability to install games to the HDD, an avatar system, and the “Community Games platform”.
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.
Apple’s “hobby” the Apple TV has a chance at becoming a ubiquitous household item, though the company may need to add support for non-Apple media services and implement many new features if it seriously intends making an iPod-level impact on this important growing market.
The reason Apple has the chance is visible in the growing momentum behind development of solutions to bring online video to the front room – a sector becoming quickly more intense.
Online video on-demand services such as iTunes or Hulu are hot properties, meaning many more devices – including TVs offering features similar to the Apple TV – should begin to reach market en masse starting next year. And even if Apple does not develop such solutions there will still be winners and losers in the race to offer the ‘iPod’ equivalent of the multimedia for the front room box.
The MOG music blogging platform has confirmed it has surpassed 3 million unique visitors per month, according to Quantcast.com, tripling its site traffic in less than three months.
The MOG Music Network (MMN) – MOG’s advertising network for independent music blogs and music websites, which launched in August – now includes over 200 of the world’s music blogs, such as Glorious Noise, DiscoMusic.com, Rock on the Streets and the controversial MetalSucks, the company said.
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.
Keep your eyes peeled for a new multimedia sales concept in the UK with the news that Sony and Universal have teamed up to deploy a range of machines selling games, Blu-ray movies and downloadable music across the country.
The PoP “entertainment vending machine”, shown off at Stuff Magazine’s Stuff Live Expo recently, lets customers download media to their MP3/MP4 players, SD cards and USB-supporting portable devices.
These touchscreen machines will also let consumers grab a quick preview of what they’re considering. No word yet on price, supported platforms or DRM.
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.