Universal To Sell DRM-Free Music, Disses Apple

Sounds like someone isn’t too happy about Steve Jobs dominating the online music market.

We’ve been waiting for another major label to follow EMI’s lead in experimenting with DRM-free music sales. And we couldn’t have hoped for a better one: Universal, the world’s largest music label, is taking up the challenge as the second conglomerate to sell their wares without copy protection, though in limited numbers, at least for now.

And therein lies the rub: They’re selling their DRM-free tracks on Rhapsody, Amazon, Google, and Walmart’s site — in other words, almost everything BUT Apple’s iTunes Store. That’s a real slap in the face to the CEO who first put out the call to arms for removing DRM. Plus, Apple is the third largest retailer in the US, selling 10 percent of all music — CD, online, or otherwise.

On the other hand, it’s not like we didn’t see this coming, given that Universal already bowed out of their iTunes Store contract with Apple several weeks ago. Looks like it’s going to get ugly.

Universal to test DRM-free music sales, snubs iTunes [Engadget]