Apple Requiring Labels To Deliver Content DRM-Free?

Apr 24th, 2007 // 5 Comments

jobslego.jpgIn a Hypebot post calling out Steve Jobs for not being quick enough on the DRM-free draw with labels who already offer their content unprotected at sites like eMusic, a commenter named “Anon y Maus” said that, in fact, unprotected AACs from many labels would probably be showing up on the site soon:

My company is one of the largest providers of indepenent music to iTunes. Apple has written a new clause into our contract to ask us to deliver everything as unprotected master files, to be sold with no DRM. Not only that but we will RE-deliver everything we have ever sent them, as higher bitrate, no DRM.

What’s interesting to us about this tip is the fact that Apple will be renegotating its contracts with the major labels soon–and the labels are said to be asking for iTunes to start a subscription service, which gives them a steady revenue stream, or the option for variable pricing, which will up their profits. Will Apple only budge on the variable-pricing tip if iTunes is allowed to offer higher-quality, DRM-free files from the labels that want it? And wouldn’t the whole idea of a subscription service require some sort of DRM on the files, unless iTunes used the eMusic model and allowed users to download–and keep–a certain number of files per month, based on how much they paid? If you have any tips on how these negotiations will be going–or when iTunes will let other DRM-free content into its store’s fray–send us your tips; we promise to keep them all anonymous (or Anon y Maus, if cute twists on spelling are more your bag).

Does Steve Jobs Really Want DRM Free Music? [Hypebot]

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  1. Halfwit

    …and as much as I enjoy emusic, I’ve heard enough anecdotal evidence on this site and others to suggest that the revenue stream for artists and labels is no where what is available on itunes (e.g.: percentage of the overall sale).

    For $10/month (prepay or rolling), I would consider a subscription based model. In general, though, I think that those models make more sense for people who don’t already have a lot of music themselves. Spending hours sampling new things is a little easier when you don’t already have 30 (or 80) gigs of favorites on hand.

  2. Feh Am Legend

    @Mick Kraut: Uh, where in there does it say anything about iTunes changing their download model? If they’re asking for unprotected files they’re probably planning on selling them.

  3. DeeW

    A subscription model would have come in handy when i was spending loads of cash on *Nsync and Backstreet Boys cds.

    (*eyeballs stacks of discs*)

  4. smackswell

    If they take the eMusic route, count me in. It’ll be awwn like Donkey Kong.

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