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New Music Business Briefing: "But Daddy's A Pirate...", Universal Watermarking & Much More

Google's Role And Other Details Of Universal DRM Free Experiment Emerge

Google_2 >>> The Google Factor - Amidst all the noise about Universal's DRM-free experiment and the middle finger it points at iTunes was a mention of Google.  This alliance as well as downloads direct from artist web sites may prove to be the smartest and most disruptive portion of Universal's experiment.

UniversalIf a consumer Google's 50 Cent, one of the top ads will be a link to purchase 99 cent mp3's of the act via start-up gBox.  Some of Universal's top artists will also be selling mp3's on their own sites. Both channels eliminate middlemen like Rhapsody and open direct communication between the artist and label and fans allowing Universal to capture purchase info for future marketing. 

It's curious that Universal chose to sell via a middleman gBox instead of direct, but that could change. And if an artist sells direct from its ow site why do they need the label?  Both are potentially revolutionary developments.

Rhapsody>>> What stores are participating in the experiment? Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Rhapsody, Transworld, Passalong Networks, Amazon and Puretracks will all offer DRM-free downloads in the format and bit rate of their choice.

>>> The tracks will be watermarked.  According to Wired, the tracks may be DRM-free but they will be watermarked. Details are sketchy, but the aim is clear.  Do anything you want with the mp3's you buy, but don't put them on P2P's.

>>>To get perspective from the belly of the beast, read theUniversal press release.

Drm_anti_wall_2>>> Hybebot believes that "DRM Free Won't Save The Music Industry But It Will Empower Those That Can". Give the brief commentary a read, comment and please Digg it if you think its worth sharing.