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Wal-Mart music can now be replicated

Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 21, 2007


Scott Jagow: Wal-Mart said this morning it’s gonna start selling music downloads without copy protection software. That’s the software that prevents you from copying a song to more than one device. This is a big issue in the music biz right now.

Ashley Milne-Tyte looks at how Wal-Mart’s decision might affect things.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: Universal and EMI are working with Wal-Mart to provide unprotected songs.

Earlier this year, Apple debuted its own salesroom of songs without copy protection. It’s called iTunes plus. Later this year, Amazon will launch a similar online store.

David Card of Jupiter Research says it’s clear Wal-Mart has become a major seller of music in the offline world. But he’s not sure its latest move will turn up the volume on unprotected song sales.

David Card: Wal-Mart is not necessarily the first place people would go online for music. It’ll be a long-term kind of a play, I think Amazon is a bigger deal.

Card says people who care about buying songs they can copy to other devices are iTunes types, and they’re well served by Apple. Wal-Mart is selling unprotected songs for 94 cents rather than iTunes’ 99, but Card isn’t sure 5 cents will lure many buyers away.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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