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.
The world’s leading indie labels are furious with their perceived treatment at the hands of the formerly edgy start-up now News Corp. owned MySpace.
Indies are furious that MySpace’s new music service – a service in which major labels own a stake – won’t offer independents the same kind of level playing field. In essence, each time an independent label sells some music, the major labels each makes some money. That’s making the indies pretty mad.
MySpace Music launched without deals in place for the independent labels, though it does have some arrangement with leading music aggregator, The Orchard. Now the indies are speaking up – and, as reported on the BBC – are threatening to boycott MySpace. (Does this mean MySpace has become a place for major label bands? A&R departments may have to seek unsigned acts elsewhere….) Continue reading →
SanDisk has reached a deal with all four major labels in order to introduce SlotMusic, high-quality, DRM-free music in MP3 format on microSD cards.
The cards will soon be made available with pre-loaded, high quality, DRM-free MP3 music of top artists from EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
slotMusic cards enable consumers to simply insert the slotMusic card into their microSD-enabled mobile phone or MP3 player to hear the music without passwords, downloading or digital-rights management interfering with their personal use. Continue reading →
“Warner Music UK has struck a deal with retailer Tesco to sell Warner MP3s via Tesco Digital .
“As part of the agreement, Warner will provide a range of digital music products including premium album bundles with additional content such as rare tracks, remixes, interactive booklets and videos. To coincide with the new offering, which debuts this week, Tesco Digital will launch an online marketing campaign across the website to promote Warner content.”
Well, it looks as if at least one music label’s anachronistic stab at making money through fake scarcity has fallen flat, flat, flat on its face – Estelle’s back on the iTunes Store in the US.
It’s no great surprise – and we wouldn’t be at all shocked if the UK r&b star’s management challenged label Atlantic’s decision to remove her music from iTunes, arguing that their artist lost sales as a result. Continue reading →
Nokia this week announced the UK will be the first country in which it will launch the service, which offers Nokia 5310 XpressMusic handset customers free access to over 2.1 million tracks.
“In general, adoption of most mobile music services has so far been slow and disappointing,” Informa Telecoms & Media notes. “Nokia hopes to change this trend and therefore unlike most other music services, “Comes With Music” will allow users to keep and listen to all the downloaded music even after the one year subscription period ends. However, many media reports have raised concerns on the business model and whether Nokia will be able to make any profit from the service.” Continue reading →
“British R&B star Estelle has seen her single American Boy plummet down the US chart after her latest album, Shine, was taken off iTunes in the States.
Record label Warner made the move to force fans to buy the whole album, not just individual songs, reports said.
Single American Boy, featuring Kanye West, was a UK number one in March.
It was in the iTunes top 10 in the US before its removal. It was also at 11 on the official Billboard singles chart – but has now dropped to number 37. Continue reading →
Warner Music Group may keep some music from some artists back from the iTunes Store, and appears to be playing hardball, suggesting it may withdraw permission for inclusion of some of its catalogue within smash-hit console games, Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
Rolling Stone reports the success of Kid Rock’s ‘Rock N Roll Jesus’ album, which has spawned a smash hit single, ‘All Summer Long’, and isn’t available on iTunes or through any other digital music service. Despite not being available in digital form from services like iTunes, the album has already sold 1.3 million copies.
“It’s definitely interesting that he’s the only artist that’s not available on iTunes with a monster hit right now, and we’re seeing that kind of a growth,” Livia Tortella, general manager of Atlantic told Rolling Stone.