HMV To Undercut iTunes With “DRM-free” Music Downloads

HMV To Undercut iTunes With Music mega retailed HMV has announced that it will start selling “DRM-free” digital downloads from September 2007.

Over one million “DRM-free” tracks will be available for download at launch, including EMI’s full catalogue with big names like Coldplay, Lily Allen, Gorillaz and Robbie Williams.

They’ll also be existing content made available from other labels distributed by HMV’s digital partner, MusicNet, adding to the 3 million+ tracks already offered online by HMV.

“We’re excited to be making MP3 downloads available through HMV, as this is consistent with our ethos of giving our customers the widest possible access to music, however and whenever they wish to enjoy it,” purred Gideon Lask, HMV ecommerce director.

“Music fans increasingly expect versatility and interoperability in the way they consume music, and we feel the time is right to acknowledge and act on this expectation,” he continued.

The company said that it will be shunting all their digital downloads into the online store, rather than keep using the current, thus allowing UK customers to buy physical CDs and digital CDs from the same website.

HMV To Undercut iTunes With (Incidentally, we tried to take a look at the site but learnt that it doesn’t support Firefox. Way to go, guys! We left unimpressed).

The tracks will be available in MP3 format with a high quality 328kbps bitrate, with prices starting at 79p, so punters may be able to buy the same tracks cheaper from HMV than rivals Apple

According to HMV, the downloads will be compatible with all MP3 players, including the enormously popular Apple iPods.

As HMV brokers agreements with other labels, the total number of non-DRM tracks available as MP3 downloads should grow over the coming months.

The announcement came as HMV revealed that its full-year pre-tax profits from 28 April had crashed from £98.2m to £48.1m.

Elsewhere, our favourite High Street music retailed FOPP looks to have closed forever on Friday, a victim of the slump in CD sales.


3 thoughts on “HMV To Undercut iTunes With “DRM-free” Music Downloads”

  1. Most music subscription services offer very much the same service. These companies are missing the concept. Offering a monthly subscription service and then asking customers to pay for downloads in addition to their subscription is poor. What I would like to see is a company offering a monthly music subscription service where you can download unlimited MP3 DRM free songs without any additional cost. Come on someone take the initiative. It could make you a fortune.

Comments are closed.