Big changes are afoot in the digital music world today. This morning we’ve had calls from Apple and EMI, urging us to go along to a special announcement at the record label’s London HQ at 1pm today for ‘an exciting new digital offering’.
Our favourite turtleneck-wearing CEO, Steve Jobs, will be special guest, leading us to speculate on the possibility of two outcomes:
1. EMI will make a significant slice of its catalogue available through iTunes without DRM.
2. The Beatles will finally be downloadable.
Personally, I think the former is most likely; both would surely be wishful thinking. Still, I don’t imagine it’ll be as simple as merely ‘turning off’ the DRM and continuing the same as before. It could mean having to pay an extra premium for non-DRM tracks, or having each file digitally watermarked. We'll have to wait and see. All the same it’d be a huge step for one of the big four record companies to make.
There’s a special live performance listed on the itinerary, too. Could we see the Fab Four reunited? It’d only take a miraculous act of reincarnation, or something altogether more tragic, to make it happen...