Apple’s DRM-free music catalog is composed mostly of EMI artists, as a result of the agreement signed between both companies to offer high-quality songs without DRM, albeit at a premium.
Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, said that “iTunes Plus has been really popular with our users, and now we are making it available at an even more attractive price.”
Although Apple is offering DRM-free music from the EMI catalog, it has also indicated that it will add more music in the future. “We are adding around two million songs from independent labels in addition to EMI’s digital catalog, and we are in talks to make it possible to include more labels and artists under iTunes Plus,” according to Neumayr.
Not only have DRM-free songs been reduced in price, but they also maintain their higher quality AAC encoding at a transfer rate of 256 kbps, over 128 kbps for DRM-enabled AAC songs.
Amazon MP3 recently opened its DRM-free music store. Amazon sells its music for prices that range between 89 and 99 cents, although analysts say they don’t think it will challenge Apple in the long term.