While Wal-Mart may have entered the digital music scene a little late and didn’t really come in with a bang, they’re proving that they can compete with the competition, namely iTunes. Their recent announcement that they will be selling DRM-free music at $0.94 per song is proof of this. The music will be from labels like Universal Music Group as well as EMI group and will be compatible with nearly every digital media player including the Zune and the iPod. Starting today, Wal-Mart’s catalogue includes these songs – thousands of them.
Music labels that have agreed to offer DRM-free songs are hoping that it will boost the sales of digital music. At the same time, some labels are concerned over whether or not the lack of DRM protection will hurt sales and increase/encourage piracy. While there are people who flat-out won’t pay for music, DRM-free or not because it’s available for free via torrents, there are others who regularly purchase music. The lack of DRM will certainly be an incentive for these people to purchase more music.
The price that Wal-Mart is offering these songs at is amazing to say the least, and I wonder if they’ll be able to keep this introductory price. You’ll probably recall back in May when Apple’s iTunes started selling sans-DRM music for $1.29 per song – $0.30 more than what songs with DRM sell for. This means that iTunes is selling songs with DRM for more than what Wal-Mart is offering DRM-free songs for. Hmm… does this mean a price-cut is in store over at iTunes soon?