Sony BMG Confirms Initial DRM-Free Strike, Retail Play Emerges

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Sony BMG has now confirmed an initial step away from protected formats, an expected development.

The major label disclosed an experiment that involves physical retailers to USA Today this morning.  The plan involves plastic cards tied to DRM-free albums that can only be purchased at partner retailers like Best Buy, Target, Fred’s, and f.y.e.  The cards, part of a series called Platinum MusicPass, will carry a suggested retail price of $12.99 and will be redeemable on starting January 15th.

A total of 37 albums from artists including Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Brown, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Jennifer Lopez and Santana will be positioned.  “The bigger picture is to make our music available in many different formats, through many different channels, in many different ways,” said head of Sony BMG Global Digital Business and US Sales Thomas Hesse.  Most expect a more comprehensive DRM-free move in the short-term.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.