The Importance of Going DRM Free

Paul McCartney’s latest ‘Memory Almost Full’ was released on June 5th and it’s not just available in Starbucks’ (it’s their label’s release) and at the stores, but most importantly, online. 

Now, if you have an iPod, you have certainly noticed all the promotion on the iMusic site for both the new release and the McCartney back catalog.  Although iTunes is selling the older McCartney releases re-mastered in higher byte rate, DRM free versions, this is not the case with ‘Memory’, which is in the traditional 128kbs AAC version. 

Despite all the promotions (Starbucks’ is playing the release in all their shops, all day long), there’s something more significant going on here – and that’s the fact that Paul has gone truly digital with ‘Memory’ by not giving the exclusive to iTunes, but releasing it the same day to other online stores in higher quality, DRM free files. 

MusicGiants is selling their high quality, DRM free version for $18.98 (Windows player needed) and eMusic is selling their DRM free MP3 version (better sound quality than iTunes) for .30-.35 per song. Now, neither MusicGiants or eMusic got to promote the release before today, but higher sound quality and less expensive digital versions are easily available to a wider audience.  Hopefully the rest of the industry dinosaurs have learned something from all of this.        

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