Apple’s Steve Jobs joined EMI Group CEO Eric Nicoli in London to host a press conference at EMI’s headquarters. The press had already taken rumors and run with them. But now it’s confirmed. The big announcement: EMI Music is launching DRM-free downloads and Apple’s iTunes Store will be the first online music store to sell the new format. Details below along with some slides from the press conference:
This is no April Fool’s joke; EMI will offer all songs from its digital catalog without DRM. Songs will be encoded at 256k and sold at $1.29 per song, which is $0.30 more per song than the current price. However, you can choose between this or the existing lower quality DRM tracks at the old price of $0.99.
Entire album purchases will remain at the same price, but will have the new higher audio quality and will be DRM-free. EMI music videos will also be available DRM-free with no change in price. And if you bought EMI music previously, you will be able to upgrade to the DRM-free tracks for $0.30 per track.
Jobs even went as far as to say that other deals are in the works with other labels; he plans on 50% of all of their music sold to be DRM-free by the end of year. Looks like 2007 could be the year for DRM-free after all. See here for the official press release.