Amazon.com will launch a music download store later this year with millions of songs in unprotected MP3 format from more than 12,000 record labels, including EMI Music's digital catalog.
Every song and album in the digital music store will be available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software, the retailer said, allowing customers to play music on virtually any personal audio device and to burn songs to CDs for personal use.
The move follows last month's announcement that EMI will offer its songs in unprotected Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format through Apple's iTunes site.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, noted that "Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device."
EMI CEO Eric Nicoli added that "[Amazon.com has] been an important retail partner of ours, and we are delighted they will be offering consumers EMI's new premium DRM-free downloads in their new digital music store. We think having a trusted destination like Amazon.com offer a high-quality digital music product that will play across a number of devices gives consumers more options and will be a significant boost for the overall digital music market."
For more on Amazon's MP3 move, see WWW.TWICE.com.