> Sony BMG has announced a DRM free retail trading card program. (USA Today) Some writers are calling this proof that Sony is dropping DRM free, but we had this story weeks ago and broke the story on Friday that full elimination of DRM by this last major label group to fully drop restrictions is just week away.
> The Consumer Electronic Show kicks off in Las Vegas with a larger music industry and Music 2.0 presence than ever. Expect a slew of major announcements this week. Hypebot will work to round them up for you. Wireless services along with everything faster, smaller and cheaper are already shaping up to be focus this year. Here's coverage of Bill Gate's keynote. (PC World)
> Napster will begin selling only in the mp3 format starting in the second quarter of the year. (Reuters) Inevitable and overdue, but still good news.
> WMG/Poe Boy artist Flo Rida set a single week digital record moving 470,000 copies of the single "Low". The previous record was held by Fergie's "Fergalicious," which sold 294,000 downloads in a week.
> Cell maker Motorola announced that it will acquire Singapore-based digital music distributor Soundbuzz to expand its content across Asia. (IndiaInfoLine)
< Dutch electronics maker Philips is partnering with RealNetworks to offer a subscription music using Philips' music players. (more)
> Two Wall Street analysts to embrace ad supported music or die. (Red Herring)
> Gracenote and Phillips combine their digital fingerprinting technologies. (press release) With the death of DRM, you'll be hearing a lot more about fingerprinting and watermarking in the coming months.
> R.I.P. - Ronald "Ronnie" Johnson, an executive vice president of Capitol Music Group, has died at age 49. Johnson, who worked with artists such as Chingy and Fat Joe, succumbed to a heart attack.