Hot on the heels of news of Apple soon offering rental movies via iTunes, Amazon has some even better news (in my opinion). Another sign that DRM (Digital Rights Management, music with restrictions) is on its way out: Amazon MP3 now offers DRM-free MP3s from Warner Music Group’s catalog.
This makes Amazon’s MP3 download store the first to offer DRM-free music from Warner Music and brings Amazon’s library up to 2.9 million songs, all without restrictions. And Warner’s catalog includes some of the most popular artists: Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Madonna, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
I reviewed Amazon MP3 when it first came out and switched to it from iTunes as my primary method of buying music. In short, Amazon MP3 works well for me when compared to the competition: it’s cheaper ($0.89/track), it’s all DRM-Free, it’s higher quality (256 kbps), it’s more accessible (MP3), and there are no switching costs (integrates seamlessly with iTunes). If you haven’t already, check out Amazon MP3 here.
Here are the PR quotes from the two companies:
“Our customers are delighted with our DRM-free MP3 service. We have received thousands of emails from our customers since our September launch thanking us for offering the biggest selection of high-quality MP3 audio downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future,” said Bill Carr, Amazon.com Vice President of Digital Music. “With the addition of great Warner Music Group content, our customers will discover even more of the music they love on Amazon MP3.”
“Consumers want flexibility with respect to what they can do with music once they purchase it, and we want them to have that flexibility, which is why we’re pleased to offer our artists’ music on Amazon MP3,” said Michael Nash, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development for Warner Music Group. “We believe that giving consumers the assurance that the music they purchase can be played on any device they own will only encourage more sales of music. Amazon shares our vision with respect to offering feature-rich music based digital products, and we look forward to making available an array of exciting new digital products over time that will transform the relationship between and among consumers, labels and artists.”