Hollywood Records Licenses DRM-Free, Starts Multi-Store Push

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Hollywood Records is now spreading MP3s to Wal-Mart, Amazon, Passalong Networks, and other digital takers, according to details shared with Digital Music News on Monday.

Marisa Kurtz, manager of Digital Sales at the Disney-owned record label, confirmed DRM-free releases from Atreyu, Marié Digby, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, as well as content from the Mammoth catalog.  But the move does not include the iTunes Store, which has yet shift into a broader, DRM-free sales mode.

That makes the Hollywood initiative largely symbolic, especially given the lower digital market shares carried by iTunes competitors.  But Amazon is now planning an aggressive marketing ramp-up for its MP3-based store, one that is expected to include a major tie-up involving Pepsi.  And according to Kurtz, the MP3s are available to anyone willing to play ball.  “We’ve made it available to everyone,” Kurtz said.  Hollywood Records, part of the Buena Vista Music Group, is distributed through Universal Music Group.