update Sony Music Entertainment Australia has signed up with Australian Digital Rights Management (DRM) provider Destra Corporation Limited to sell their music "legally" online.
Destra CEO Domenic Carosa said Sony Music joins EMI and Festival Mushroom Records in allowing Destra to offer songs for sale over the Internet at AU$1.99 per track. He says Sony's enthusiasm in signing up with Destra shows the confidence that major music companies now have in online music.
"From a music industry perspective, this is a major breakthrough and should encourage the rest of the record labels to come forward. This is a great boost to the industry and we are very happy about it," Carosa adds.
Sony Music will initially provide over 10,000 tracks and build its catalogue to up to 30,000 tracks in the next few months in the WMA (Windows) format. Their tracks will also be available in AAC format, compatible with iPod and some Sony devices.
"Sony Music is pleased to be working with Destra and in tandem with our traditional retail partners such as Sanity, HMV and JB-Hi Fi. Digital music, whether online or wireless, is a strong growth area and we expect the Australian market to follow some of the tremendous results being achieved in this area in both Europe and the US," said Gavin Parry, director of Digital Services at Sony Music.
To protect record companies from copyright violation, the music will have built-in technology for customers to burn the songs onto a CD for up to three times, as well as unlimited copy of the songs to a portable music device, but it will not allow the tracks to be transferred to illegitimate unauthorised Web sites.
Carosa is confident that other major music companies like BMG and Warner will soon join Sony after seeing its success in Australia. Destra now have 300 radio stations within Australia using its Web site to download the latest music and use it on air. Its "clicks and mortar" strategy also allows music buyers in the retail shops to download a number of free tracks online, giving Destra a competitive advantage.
"Now that the record companies have seen the benefits of selling their music on the Internet, the logical natural progression will be to bypass the CDs and go directly to the Internet. We are currently working on a subscription model with a monthly fee to make it easier for consumers to download the music they want," Carosa said.
DestraMusic will increase its music catalogue with plans to have over 500,000 tracks available for purchase by mid 2004. The music is available online through Destra's retail partners Sanity.com.au, HMV.com.au, JBHIFI.com.au and ChaosMusic.com.au.