twice connect
careers

Wal-Mart Launches DRM-Free Music

8/21/2007 01:20:00 PM Eastern

Brisbane, Calif. — Wal-Mart officially added music without digital rights management (DRM) software to its download service, joining a growing movement to provide digital “unprotected” music that can be downloaded to almost any portable digital device.

Wal-Mart will sell DRM-free songs from record labels including Universal Music Group and EMI for 94 cents each or $9.22 per album at www.walmart.com. The songs can be played back on devices including the iPod, iPhone and Zune.

Wal-Mart’s DRM-free titles from EMI will be offered as a permanent feature on www.Walmart.com, but the Universal DRM-free titles are offered as part of a test market by that studio that will end in January.

Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's senior director and divisional manager for digital media, said, “It’s our desire that Universal becomes a permanent” part of Wal-Mart’s DRM-free catalog. He also hopes that the success of DRM-free title sales will encourage Universal and other record labels to pursue DRM-free music sales.

The current Wal-Mart DRM-free catalog includes a few hundred thousand songs out of a total of more than 2 million songs (including DRM-protected songs) on the site. DRM-free songs are offered from artists such as The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, KT Tunstall, Amy Winehouse, Maroon 5, George Strait and Nelly.

Wal-Mart will also continue to sell DRM-protected WMA-format music downloads at 88 cents per track.

Apple added the ability to download DRM-free music from the EMI catalog this May and Amazon.com said it expects to offer DRM-free music later this year. Earlier this month, Universal said it will run from August to January a DRM-free market-trial through several sources including Google, Wal-Mart, Best Buy Digital Music Store, Rhapsody, Amazon.com and others.

Wal-Mart first launched its music download service in December 2003.

PHOTOS
Ultra HD OLED TVs In IFA Spotlight

At IFA, all Ultra HD makers are quickly expanding

Jack Wayman, the Father Of International CES

Tributes continue to pour in for Jack Wayman, who

Nationwide PrimeTime 2014

Scenes from Nationwide PrimeTime buy fair held in

ProSource Meeting Filled With Optimism

San Antonio — Optimism reigned at ProSource’s

Ingram Draws 500 To Spring Vendor Expo

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Ingram Micro Consumer