gBox Partners With UMG To Sell DRM-Free Downloads
August 13, 2007 at 5:29 AM (PT)
Add GBOX INC. to the growing list of online music services hoping to chip away at ITUNES' dominance. The CUPERTINO, CA startup was forced out of stealth mode when UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP announced late THURSDAY that it would test sales of some digital music without the customary copy-protection technology (NET NEWS 8/10).
Under the program, GBOX will get referrals through ads that UNIVERSAL will buy through search leader GOOGLE INC., GBOX CEO TAMMY ARTIM said FRIDAY.
GOOGLE will get standard advertising fees rather than a cut of sales under the arrangement. The ads, which would appear when GOOGLE users search for specific terms such as the name of an artist, will direct users to GBOX.
The arrangement with UNIVERSAL and GBOX is separate from GOOGLE's music search service, which directs users to online music stores when they search for specific albums or artists. The company says it does not get paid for such referrals, and it does not restrict links to a single retailer.
GOOGLE, which has said it has no plans to create a music store of its own, described the new arrangement as strictly an advertising relationship.
Songs at GBOX cost 99 cents each. For the UNIVERSAL songs that are part of the test, GBOX will offer an MP3 version free of copy-protection technology known as digital-rights management. A DRMenabled version will be available at the same price.