Apple today announced that it has signed agreements with all the major music labels to offer their music in a DRM-free format on the iTunes Store. Like prior iTunes Plus tracks, all music will now be sold in DRM-free, 256kbps AAC format. Starting today, eight million songs are available; all ten million songs are expected to be available DRM-free by the end of the quarter. iTunes will offer customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of previously purchased songs to the higher quality DRM-free iTunes Plus format for 30 cents per song or 30 percent of the album price. Beginning in April, and based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs will now be priced at one of three price points—$0.69, $0.99, and $1.29, with most albums still priced at $9.99. Finally, users are now able to download music from the iTunes Store on their iPhone 3G over the 3G network, removing the need for a Wi-Fi connection.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “And in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points—69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29—with many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29.”