Digital Music news
Rhapsody, the joint venture by Real Networks and Viacom’s MTV Networks, is the latest digital music service to launch a DRM-free music download store. Although the company isn’t ditching Digital Rights Management software altogether – its music subscription service still relies heavily on copy-protection technology – the new Rhapsody MP3 Store is selling DRM-free MP3s priced at .99c per track or $9.99 for the complete album, which is pretty much inline with the rest of the industry.
Not only did Rhapsody launch a DRM-free MP3 music store — see our earlier coverage — but the company has also engaged with Verizon Wireless to offer a new mobile subscription plan called VCAST Music with Rhapsody.
Nokia continues to cozy up to the music industry, announcing today that Warner Music has signed onto ‘Comes With Music’, the company’s all-you-can-eat music subscription plan. The major recording label becomes the third of the Big Four to have agreed a partnership with Nokia, following earlier deals with Universal Music and Sony BMG. The remaining major holdout is EMI.
Bono and the rest of team behind the non-profit (RED) are to launch a new music subscription service this autumn with half of revenue going towards buying “life-saving medicine for those living with AIDS in Africa.”
Leave it up to Radiohead to find every new distribution method possible for their latest effort “In Rainbows.” This time the band has teamed up with Last.fm to offer the album in its entirety for free, ad-supported, on-demand streaming.
Michael Pinto, Creative Director of Very Memorable, Inc. offers up an alternative vision for music service Rhapsody: “Over one year after EMI took the first step to offer DRM-free downloads (April 2007) Rhapsody has decided to play catch up. Rhapsody is a joint venture between Real Networks and MTV, and that’s where its problems start: At this point for the youth market, MTV is no longer associated with music – if anything on cable it’s been replaced by MuchMusic and on the web there are upcoming dynamic brands like Pitchfork.tv that are poised for high growth.”
Sony’s next PlayStation 3 update, firmware 2.40, will deliver several features that owners have been wanting for a long time.
AT&T announced pricing details today for the iPhone 3G, which goes on sale at 8 a.m., July 11. There’s been a little grousing here and there, but for the most part the No. 1 carrier in the U.S. — and its accomplice, Apple — have received a free criticism pass. Now that official pricing is here, we should be disappointed in AT&T and Apple. The iPhone 3G is going to be a heck of a lot more expensive to own.
That’s a wrap! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!