Yahoo! Inc. has unofficially announced
that it is currently trialing the sale of MP3s without DRM constraints in place on its online music store.
Popular online music stores like iTunes and Napster currently sell DRM-protected music, which locks consumers into a particular platform, like the incredibly successful iPod.
Yahoo! has been trying to convince record labels to sell DRM-free MP3s for some time now, stating that it doesn't add any value for the artist, label and consumer. Record labels are already selling DRM-free music on CDs.
The company currently sells MP3s at double the price of the same music on iTunes, but without the DRM constraints. Yahoo! maintains that DRM is very expensive to implement, and that the company would much rather spend that money on improving other aspects of its service.
Along with this, Yahoo! is hoping that consumers will warm to its online store, simply because it is selling music without DRM protection. The fact consumers will be able to play the music on any device and even convert it to other formats may be enough to tempt consumers to pay a little more.
Currently, there are no details on when the company will roll out DRM-free music across its entire store.
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