UMG Set To Sell MP3s Via Amazon
April 16, 2007 at 7:46 AM (PT)
REUTERS reports that while EMI will boldly go where no major has gone before and sell its catalog as unprotected digital files, other forces are coming into play that should bolster the potential for a commercial MP3 marketplace.
AMAZON, which is considered the best bet to challenge ITUNES' supremacy in the digital world, is shooting to launch its MP3 digital download store in MAY, a target date it has yet to publicly acknowledge. Meanwhile, sources familiar with the situation say UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP plans to test the sale of unprotected digital music files, including some of its classical music catalog conceivably including titles by ANDREA BOCELLI, at the new AMAZON store and other outlets.
It's unclear so far whether ITUNES is included among stores slated to sell unprotected UNIVERSAL music, and the label could not be reached to comment.
Meanwhile, executives within SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and WARNER MUSIC GROUP say senior management teams at both companies are unwilling to embrace selling their catalogs in the MP3 format.
But whether or not the majors will be involved with AMAZON or ITUNES unprotected plays, they all say they are waiting to find out if the MP3 model will expand digital sales -- and conversely, if it will fuel unauthorized file-sharing or cannibalization of other digital formats such as ringtones.