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Universal Will Sell DRM-Free Online Music, But Not Through iTunes

John Gruber notes on the Ney York Times article which reports that Universal will sell DRM-free music through RealNetworks, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Google, and others, but not through iTunes and asks why?

I suspect the cause of this is simply the dominance of the iPod. To sell with DRM on any other site means iPod owners cannot buy the music. The only way an iPod can play music is if it is a) DRM-free, or b) bought at iTunes. The latter option means Universal has much less incentive to offer DRM-free music through iTunes, since all the iPods can already play iTunes DRM-protected music.

So do we finally have a case where Apple‘s dominance actually causes them a problem? What a change a few years can make!

Updated Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 4:22 PM. Permalink. Post a Comment.


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