March 26th 2008
By Mike Flaminio
Quoting unnamed major label sources, USA Today reports that Amazon's mp3 store slid into the No 2 position in digital sales since opening about six months ago.
"Songs sold without DRM, at high quality, with album art, that's the best way to get people to buy music instead of stealing it. DRM is a way to punish people who are buying," said Eric Garland, CEO, BigChampagne. "Offering a great product at a great price is a way to combat piracy."
Apple now has 2-million DRM-free tracks from EMI and indies, out of its 6 million-song catalog. Amazon offers 4.5 million DRM-free songs mostly from the labels.
Meanwhile, eMusic CEO David Pakman writes on his blog that Amazon isn't the No 2 digital music reseller--it's eMusic and its 100-percent DRM-free catalog of 3-million songs. Also, Pakman has said his company accounts for 15-percent of the download market.
USA Today goes on to quote Nielsen SoundScan who says that about 239 million tracks have been sold this year, compared to 189 million last year at this time. Of course, CD sales continued their decline: 74.3 million this year, compared with 89.2 million at the same time in 2007.
Editor's note: USA Today goes to pains to point out that iTunes catalog isn't 100-percent DRM-free. They don't mention, however, that iTunes could be DRM-free right now if the major labels allowed it to be, which is rather disingenuous.
Apple has said it accounts for 80 percent of the market. eMusic says it has 15 percent.
Has anyone challenged or even debunked these figures? Not that I've seen.
That leaves 5 percent for everyone else--Napster, Real AND Amazon.
It's one thing for the labels to push this, but it's quite another for USA Today to unblushingly repeat it...
What's your take?
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