EMI Says Initial Sales Of DRM-Free Tracks Look Good

from the nice-to-hear dept

EMI’s DRM-free tracks have been available through the iTunes Music Store for a few weeks now, and an EMI exec told a conference in New York this week that the initial sales reports are positive. The exec cited several albums that have seen big increases in sales since the launch of iTunes Plus, leading some to wonder how many of the sales are coming from upgrades. The conclusion is that the DRM-free tracks are getting an early bump from people upgrading old purchases from DRM-restricted to DRM-free (and higher quality), and that they’ll soon tail off, once everybody’s upgraded their library. This could be true, and upgrades could certainly explain the big pop that some older albums, like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon are seeing, but such strength from upgrades really underlines the popularity of DRM-free music, and establishes that people are willing to pay for it. After all, while upgrades in iTunes only cost 30 cents, that’s still 30 additional cents people are spending for a piece of music they’ve already purchased — and it’s 30 cents of new revenue for the retailer and record label. Furthermore, even if unit sales held steady, EMI’s DRM-free tracks sell at a higher price than those encumbered with copy protection, so it behooves the label to replace sales of locked-down singles with DRM-free ones. It doesn’t seem too surprising to see EMI have some success with selling tracks free of pointless copy protection, but hopefully its public comments will help convince other labels to take the plunge.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “EMI Says Initial Sales Of DRM-Free Tracks Look Good”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Eric the Grey says:

They have every reason to do this

With the user ID encoded into the tracks, they can still track people who illegally upload this music to P2P services, and more people seem willing to purchase it.

It’s too bad they are using the Apple prpriatery format, instead of an open standard. I’d buy music from them if they offered an MP3 format.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: They have every reason to do this

AAC is better quality than mp3.

Just because it’s the most well-known compressed audio file, everyone thinks mp3 is the best.

It’s not.

Technology improves over time people. MP3 is *old*. You didn’t think better stuff would come along by now?

Chronno S. Trigger says:


I have a SanDisk Sansa express. it plays MP3, WMA, WMV and audio books. “Supports MP3, WMA, Protected WMA, WAV, and Audible files” I can’t find any of their players that play AAC and I don’t think SanDisk counts as low end. They definitely fall under the category of “All MP3 Players”.

Not that I couldn’t get it to work anyways but please make sure your arguments are accurate before posting.

Creative Zen doesn’t either. It wasn’t hard to find ones that don’t.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...