The latest forming trend in digital music downloads seems to be that everyone wants to start offering DRM-free music. Both Amazon and iTunes offer a DRM-free catalog of music as well as several other sites like eMusic. People like DRM-free because it means once they download a song or album, they can play the song on multiple devices. When Amazon’s service launched, it got rave reviews. People were generally happy with the selection, but even more happy with the price. Now there are rumors that Yahoo is wanting to get in on DRM-free fun too and that they have plans to launch a DRM Free music service sometime within 2008.
Yahoo has publicly denied that they are even working on such a project, however, the Associated Press is reporting that record executives have come to them and said that they have met with Yahoo and that they already had preliminary talks last month. They’re trying to work out a deal with major companies like Universal, Sony, Warner, and EMI to offer unprotected songs either for sale, or as part of an ad-supported music service. When the AP went to the record companies to ask about such a deal, they simply declined to comment which could very well mean these rumors are true.
As Mashable points out, if these talks had occurred months before, it probably would have been a pretty big deal. However, because there are other sites out there that offer DRM Free MP3s like Amazon, this isn’t really groundbreaking. Would you be happy to see yet another big name enter the scene? Eventually, I think DRM-free will be the new “norm” and consumers will be able to buy the unprotected songs anywhere they’d like. Perhaps record labels are finally realizing that sales of music and life do go on when they don’t have tight control?