Digital Music

Apple In Negotiations To Offer Unlimited Downloads, Move Could Cement iTunes Dominance

image from www.broadwayworld.com Apple is in talks with all four major record companies to offer unlimited downloads of purchased music. This would enable iTunes customers to sync their music across different Apple devices. While the labels have been reluctant to grant multiple download rights previously, Apple's relatively closed eco-sytem could offer them a level of comfort.

Is This DRM 2.0?


Sources tell Bloomberg that the deal would allow music to be downloaded to Macs, iPods, iPad and iPhone devices, as long as they were linked to the same iTunes account. 

The service, which would also provide a permanent backup of music purchases, could make dethroning Apple as music's dominant retailer more difficult. Only Sony is in a position to offer a similar array of conveniently linked devices and services; though Microsoft and Google could convince rightsholders to allow unlimited downloads controlled by their operating systems.

Whatever the details, the major labels are once again bolstering an already dominate Apple in the name of re-exerting control of music purchases by encouraging (forcing?) use within a defined eco-system.

If a deal is made, Apple's new service would launch this summer. 

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6 Comments

  1. As a musician: I will have to follow whatever path Apple has chosen for me, because I’m not a part of the major label titanic.
    As a consumer: I would be happy if I could re-download “purchased” music just like apps. I have had a hard drive failure or two through the years, and though I do back-ups, I have lost music.
    Aaron Gibson
    http://www.aarongibson.me

  2. How do labels and apple not realize that they should have done this years ago… This is clearly why the music industry is in the state it is.

  3. It sounds almost like Lala.com’s business of selling “web songs” except you can make copies of them (i.e. burn a CD and back up to a hard drive if you want to). Also, if it means I don’t have to plug my iPod into my PC every time I buy a song, that would be nice.
    It’s not DRM, but it definitely is a motivation to buy from iTunes instead of Amazon. We’ll have to see what Amazon does in the coming years. After all, they kind of invented this — all books you buy for the Kindle can be redownloaded to your device.

  4. Are the publishers going to make major concessions on the mechanical per-copy songwriter royalties, or is Apple going to eat those costs on the re-downloads? Publishers haven’t been willing to compromise on much of anything in the new era, as far as I can tell from my non-biz perspective.

  5. It seems an artist we are always trying to find new ways to express ourselves and I can’t see why Apps and downloads are treated differently in the electronic form. It is still art and the act it is in different mediums like apps or Cd’s or Digital download it should be made for purchase regardless….Nothing comes for free!
    As a consumer we are always buying new Iphones or Ipads or upgrading computers why then are artists penalised for creating….??

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