Gigs & Bytes: Sony BMG Officially Joins The DRM-free Club
Earlier this week Sony BMG drew criticism for its Platinum MusicPass promotion where customers actually have to visit brick-and-mortar stores to purchase plastic cards redeemable for unprotected tracks online. By making customers jump through so many hoops to legitimately download music, it seemed as if the execs at Sony BMG were living in another universe. One where P2P doesn’t exist and people never, ever consider sharing their favorite songs.
Sony BMG’s authentic debut in the non-DRM sweepstakes is as much about confronting Apple as it is about selling unprotected music online. Record labels complained over the past year that Apple’s pricing structure is too rigid and that the technology company has too much control over how music is presented and sold on its iTunes Music Store.
Like Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, Sony BMG is another major label going DRM-less on Amazon while maintaining the copy-protection status quo by not granting the same usage rights for its tracks sold on iTunes. Of the four major labels, only EMI is DRM-less on both iTunes and Amazon MP3.
“We are excited to be working with Amazon as they continue to build new markets for digital music,” said Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG President of Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales. “We are constantly exploring new ways of making our music available to consumers in the physical space, over the Internet and through mobile phones, and this initiative is the newest element of our ongoing campaign to bring our music to fans whenever they happen to be.”