Today at the Desktop Summit in San Diego, Michael Robertson, founder and former CEO of MP3.com announced that his new digital download service MP3tunes is now live and open for business. Boasting more than 22,000 artists and 300,000 songs, MP3tunes downloads are available in the high-quality 192 KB MP3 format and are unencumbered by any digital rights management (DRM) software unlike that of iTunes or MSN music. Songs cost $.88 each or $8.88 per CD. I have not had the chance to really play around with the site but I will be curious to see how well they will be able to compete against the big boys since it is content and not quality that seems to be the deciding factor on whether to use a service or not these days. MP3tunes is currently focusing on unsigned and independent labels. According to their press release:
“All new trends in music start with emerging artists and progressive-thinking labels who are most willing to try new approaches , which is where MP3tunes is focusing initially,” Robertson said. “MP3.com started with complete songs in MP3 format from promising young artists like Linkin Park and Maroon 5. Then it expanded to new artists from major labels, and eventually it grew to be a key promotion vehicle for all the major record labels. I’m confident MP3tunes will follow the same path – If music buyers come to MP3tunes, then ultimately forward-thinking labels will too.”
The digital download market is getting more interesting every day.
(updated at 3:00 PM EST)