iTunes Drops DRM

CNET.com reports Apple has finally cut deals with Universal, Warner Music and Sony that would allow iTunes to sell DRM-free music files. EMI has been offering DRM-free files on iTunes for over a year. In return, iTunes will compromise on single song pricing. The tech giant had steadfastly refused to accept the idea of variable pricing in the past. Under the new agreement, there would be increased prices on certain hit songs, some tracks would remain at the current 99¢ rate, and a new catalog category would sell for 79¢. There are also expectations that when the deal is announced officially, possibly at MacWorld next week, it will also include over-the-air iPhone downloads without the aid of Wi-Fi.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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