Monday, November 12, 2007

"Universal Music Dips Deeper Into DRM-Free Waters"


London-based Universal Music Classics & Jazz is now offering its catalog DRM-free, a three-month experiment.  The move is part of a broader play by Universal Music Group, which is now dabbling in protection-free formats.  "The online music market is evolving quickly and we want to explore the way forward thoroughly and responsibly," commented Dickon Stainer, managing director of Universal Music Classics & Jazz.  "By making our entire catalog available in an open MP3 format we will have the opportunity to assess the level of demand, the effect on the wider music download market and of course whether we will have a problem with piracy."

The group launched its download destination at in January, a response to increased digital demand.  Member labels include Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Philips, Verve, Emacy, and Impulse, a group that collectively contributes roughly 8,000 albums.  Label artists include Katherine Jenkins, Jamie Cullum, Luciano Pavarotti, Miles Davis, Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall, and Russell Watson.  The catalog also includes a considerable number of classical recordings from greats like Tchaikovsky, Handel, Beethoven, and Bach.  

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