Looks like Apple’s going to drop the DRM on the music in the iTunes store — but there’s no indication that the DRM that’s too evil to be borne for music will be likewise dropped from audiobooks and video. Right now, Apple will only sell audiobooks from Audible — and Audible will only sell audiobooks with DRM (even if the author and publisher don’t want it). I don’t get it — if DRM is so foul that it can’t be borne when it comes to music sales, why is it acceptable for other kinds of media in the iTunes store? And if Apple is so committed to getting rid of DRM, why did it renew Audible’s exclusive, DRM-only audiobook deal, after Steve Jobs said that he wanted to get the DRM out of the iTunes store? And as the single largest shareholder in Disney, you’d think The Steve could get someone there to consider selling videos without DRM?
“Over the last six years songs have been $0.99 [79p]. Music companies want more flexibility. Starting today, 8 million songs will be DRM free and by the end of this quarter, all 10 million songs will be DRM free,” he told the crowd.
Apple has also revised its pricing structure, offering a two-tier system with songs available for $0.69 and $1.29. Prices will vary slightly in the UK.
At present, the firm has a one-price-fits-all strategy – currently 79p per track – with no subscription fee.
The new model will have a varied pricing structure, with what the company calls “better quality iTunes Plus” costing more.