For music lovers, it could well be that 2007 is the year that digital music finally took a turn
in their direction as Warner Music has announced that it too will now licence music to Amazon US digital music service without the need for DRM. Only Sony remains outside the DRM-free circle but already stories are circulating that it too will go DRM-free but through its own services.

The major labels are publicly acknowledging that the game is up and are using Amazon’s service to try and break Apple’s virtual monopoly in the digital music space. According to the New York Times and Forbes, the big four are desperate to try and wrest some control on pricing and formatting back from iTunes. However, consumer habits around the iTunes/iPod experience have little or nothing to do with the DRM or non-DRM status of the music concerned. Its the end-to-end experience that Apple has done such a good job with that has sealed that particular deal.

It seems petty and childish of the labels to follow this route but the bigger picture is that DRM is on the way out, at last, and now we’re in for a really interesting time as more and more digital audio players have equal access to music and the consumer will be able to drive further change by the purchasing choices they make.

Now if only the mobile platform was a little more cross compatible…

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