Digital Music

More Jump On MP3 Bandwagon

We declared several weeks ago that 2007 would be the year that labels would finally embrace or at least seriously experiment with unrestricted mp3’s.  After all, 2006 was the year that labels dropped DRM on all physical CD’s. Now Billboard and other mainstream media are jumping on the mp3 bandwagon with some new (and some old) evidence.

New to us is the news that popular former EMI digital guru Ted Cohen has been hired by Limewire to convince labels to allow a DRM free six month test to see if the P2P can convert it’s 40 million users to paid downloaders.

Amazon_21The media is now also reporting other mp3 friendly activity that Hypebot readers already know: the MySpace/SnoCap deal is mp3 only, Yahoo! Music is on a mission to encourage more major label mp3 activity, EMusic is the current mp3 leader but it’s low price per track subscpription model will never fly with the majors, and of course the story that Hypebot broke that Amazon is readying an mp3 only store and saying to labels "if you wantAda to market to our loyal customers it has to be with mp3’s".  We’re also now hearing that KOCH. ADA, and perhaps other physical distributors who also control the digital distribution of some labels will begin offering mp3’s as an option for labels that want it. This is a particularly interesting development given that ADA is owned by WMG.

Another important motivator that other media is finally starting to report is that major labels have been looking for months for someone to challenge the iPod/iTunes juggaurnat.  Early signs don’t show MTV’s URGE or Micorsoft’s ZUNE gaining much traction. The majors hate that so much distribution power is in Apple’s hands. Going Mp3 completely opens up the playing field without asking consumers to give up their precious iPods.

Stay tuned. This is going to be fun to watch; and for once the consumer should be the winner.

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  1. Thanks for your comment Harry. Can Hypebot readers help us create a definitive list of sites that offer mp3 downloads and/or variable pricing.
    For starters:

  2. Snocap is not necessarily MP3 only. The artist can choose to post MP3s or WMA files with DRM. It’s just that they’re all choosing MP3.

  3. I just opened a download store on Stolen Mix Tape where any and all musicians can upload music and sell by song or by album. No software is required (just a web browser). The system accepts PayPal and credit cards (through PayPal) and purchases are instantly available to download after payment.
    The fee to musicians is quite low, the system is easy to use, and I designed and built it myself.
    Musicians can get started here:
    All songs (free or $) are listed here:

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