Amazon to launch DRM-free digital music store

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Seattle (CA) – Amazon today announced that it will be launching a new music download store with DRM-free content later this year. The company said that it will offer “millions of songs” from more than 12,000 record labels, including EMI Music.

The announcement follows a similar move from Apple earlier this year, which introduced DRM-free tracks from EMI to iTunes. While Amazon will take advantage of a possible new trend initiated by Apple, the firm’s proposal will be one of the very few DRM-free music download stores on the web and so far the only one from a major distributor that does not contain any DRM-protected content.  

The exclusion of DRM restrictions promises not only to simplify the handling of digital music and allow consumers to easily move content from one device to another, but will also enable them to burn copies of these songs onto CDs.

“Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We’re excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists like Coldplay, Norah Jones and Joss Stone.”

Amazon did not say when its music store will go online.