Earthquakes, EMI and the End of DRM

Two musical breakthroughs were achieved over the weekend – firstly, the world record for the longest concert was set in Japan. Over 900 musicians played for 184 hours non-stop, despite the occurrence of an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. A break in the performance would have ruined the record attempt, but fortunately the pianist on stage at the time of the quake was able to continue her rendition, despite the best efforts of the universe to spoil the party.

The second ‘breakthrough‘ comes with EMI’s statement that they will begin to sell digital music online without copy-protection. TheƂ stated goal for the music giant is to generate a quarter of its revenues from the Internet by the year 2010, according to chief executive Eric Nicoli. This is a response to growing frustration amongst consumers regarding the limitations imposed on them by the current DRM regime. Songs bought on iTunes, protected by Apple’s own DRM features, can currently only be used on iPods, and not on any other brand of mp3 player. Removing DRM will enable consumers to listen to music files (which they have bought online) on any player, at any time.

EMI have further declared their intent to exploit the wealth of opportunity the Internet represents by being the first major label to sign up with eListeningPost’s new ‘social promotion‘ technology. The idea is that bands can release special ‘ePreview’ versions of songs and videos to their fan base, which allows the user up to five free plays of the track. These ePreviews can be sent to mailing lists or placed on a website. One of the first to use this promotional technique is the innovative Japanese artist Cornelius, whose new album ‘Sensuous’ has just been released on Warner Music’s Korova label.

For more information on the eListeningPost technology, have a look at their website.


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