Watch Out, Amazon! iTunes Plus Goes DRM-Free!

Posted Jan 6, 2009

Today iTunes has made a major improvement. Now when you download songs from iTunes owned by Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, or EMI they will be DRM-free.  Songs can be downloaded directly over the iPhone 3G over the 3G network for the same price.  And starting in April 2009, songs will have three price points.  DRM-free songs on iTunes will have higher quality at 256 kbps AAC encoding.

The three price points for music will be available at 69 cents, 99 cents, and $1.29.  Most albums will remain at the cost of $9.99.

?We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi,? stated Apple CEO Steve Jobs. ?And in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points?69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29?with many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29.?

For songs that have already been previously downloaded, users can upgrade them to higher quality DRM-free for 30 cents per song.  About 8 out of 10 million of their songs will be available DRM-free starting today.

Here are a few iTunes stats:
-6 billion songs sold
– 10 million songs available on iTunes
– 9.7 million Macs were sold in 2008
– 75 million accounts on iTunes are now linked to credit cards
– Macs have grown twice as fast as the PC market

[via Apple press release and Techcrunch]