Just last month, Universal Music Group decided to not renew its contract with Apple
to sell music through the iTune music store.
Now, it appears that it will instead sell its music online through other existing music retail services
such as RealNetworks, Walmart, and artists' web sites - without any DRM.
Whoa. A record label selling music with no DRM? Now that one is a shocker.
Apparently, Universal is now jumping on the no-DRM bandwagon in order to help drive sales away from iTunes and create competition. Currently, iTunes has such a large portion of the digital music distribution marketplace that it can keep prices locked in at current levels which goes against the wanting of many record labels wanting to charge more.
This is only a trial, however, and Universal will study the impact on consumer demand and music piracy. Should the trial go well, expect to see permanent practices set into place after January and possibly other record labels following suit.
So is this truly a move for the greater good or is everyone just trying to knock the legs out from under iTunes? Hopefully we won't see an increase in prices if they succeed to take away Apple's major share and influence of the marketplace.
Let us know what you think in the comments below or over in the forums