MusicNet gets DRM-free licenses for over a million songs

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - Adding its voice into the new revolution for online music, MusicNet announced today it has acquired licenses for over one million songs that it plans to sell as straight MP3 files.

The biggest deal came with EMI Music, one of the "big five" record labels and essentially the corporate leader for the move to DRM-free content.  EMI has been very open this year to allowing digital music stores to offer unrestricted tracks from its huge list of music albums.

MusicNet says it has also gained permission from numerous independent labels to sell tracks without any copyright protection.  These names include Nitro, Madacy, and Righteous Babe.  In total, over one million DRM-free songs are poised to go up on MusicNet later this year.

Apple's iTunes, which runs on its own DRM platform that makes users play back content on its software and/or hardware, Apple has been critical of the record labels for not allowing digital stores to offer a more uniform format.

"The music labels making these first million tracks available for unencrypted download will help fuel alternative mechanisms of accessing digital music giving consumers a choice in how they interact with their music," said MediaNet Digital CEO Alan McGlade.

Earlier this year iTunes began selling DRM-free tracks, mostly from EMI Music albums, but at a 30 cent premium over the standard 99 cent price for a single track.

MusicNet did not comment on the price for its DRM-free tracks.  It is a big move from a service that has gained little success in the field of giants like iTunes and Connect.