eMusic As iTunes Alternative
“Given the worldwide success that Apple has had selling iPods, one would think that music stores would do whatever it takes to make their offerings iPod-compatible. Attempts at bypassing or emulating Apple’s FairPlay have not been successful, however, and FairPlay is (famously) unavailable for licensing.
“So what’s a music store to do? To eMusic, the answer was simple: you offer songs as high quality, variable bit rate MP3 files instead. DRM is removed, consumers are happy, and the vast white fields of the iPod are ready for harvest.
“It sounds like such a simple idea, but in the context of the music business, this is radical, French Revolution-type stuff. What’s perhaps even more interesting is the fact that eMusic’s decision to offer unprotected MP3 files was not an ideological one; the idea made great business sense, and has established eMusic as the #2 retailer of downloadable music behind the iTunes Music Store.”
Ars Technica. Making Money Selling Music Without DRM: The Rise of eMusic. May 22, 2006.
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