Apple has announced its plans to make music from four major record companies available through iTunes without copying restrictions and outlined a new three-tiered pricing system for individual songs. A reporter discusses the implications of the changes for the music industry.
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In a move that could reshape the online music business, Apple said yesterday it will drop anti-copying protections on all songs sold through its popular iTunes store. Apple also said its songs will be offered at three different prices rather than today's flat 99-cent rate.
ITunes is now the nation's number-one music retailer. And digital music sales rose nationwide last year to more than 1 billion songs, while CD sales fell.
To explain Apple's move and what it may mean, we turn to Connie Guglielmo, a technology reporter with Bloomberg News.
And, Connie, thanks for being with us. First, give us a sense of the scope of this. How many people are affected?
CONNIE GUGLIELMO, Bloomberg News:
Well, in the United States, at the end of 2007, about a third of U.S. adults had an iPod, an Apple iPod media player, or some other media player. That's up from 20 percent the year before.
In the past year, Apple has introduced new players. They're the most popular maker of iPod players in the U.S., and so that number has risen.