More DRM-free music coming to iTunes?


CNET is reporting that Apple could announce at Macworld that it has signed deals with the three largest music labels (Sony, Universal and Warner) to offer their music without DRM protection. In return, Apple has agreed to allow for tiered pricing.

There will apparently be three pricing tiers. Older songs or catalog music will sell for USD$0.79 per track. Midline songs (more recent songs that are not huge hits) will apparently stay at USD$0.99 while the biggest hits could now sell for more.

Apple will also apparently be able to offer over-the-air downloads to iPhone and iPod touch users. To date, users had to use Wi-Fi or purchase songs from their PCs and then transfer them over to their devices.

To date, Apple had only managed to sign a deal with EMI to offer DRM-free music. But EMI accounts for about 10 percent of music sold in the United States.

A number of Apple iTunes competitors, such as AmazonMP3 and eMusic, already offer DRM-free music from all the major music labels.

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