DRM wall to crumble; EMI takes lead

EMI is going to become the first major music company to sell its music without DRM through Apple iTunes. According to WSJ, the UK based music company will be making an official announcement in this regards soon. It is not sure right now which other music vendors will EMI work with in the new digital music landscape. All this is happening while top players in music industry including Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music quietly test out their DRM options but not making a definitive move.

Again this is not something totally unexpected, since Steve Jobs had gone about asking music companies to drop DRM stance earlier this year. Once the king wants it, nothing can stop it from happening. Of course motivation from the whole moves comes from falling CD sales and an overall opposition to Apple’s monopoly over music and in turn device market.

This announcement and subsequent launch of DRM free music can mean significant uptake issues from p2p music startups like rVibe and GrooveShark that are supposed to launch anytime soon. If both of these startups are able able to cut deals with EMI, they would have much more to offer than just the DRM free part that help them survive the Apple onslaught.

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