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'Tescos Digital' Goes DRM-free & After iTunes

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Virtually everyone is trying their hand at launching an online download store these days but when the big guys get involved it's worth sitting up and taking notice...

To this end purveyor of the 2-for-1 £2.99 chicken Tesco has said it will be sprucing up its neglected offering with a complete overhaul, a DRM-free catalogue and a plan to offer TV and film downloads in the near future.

A revitalised 'Tesco Digital' will launch sometime next month with 1.6m of its 3.3m tracks immediately available in DRM-free MP3 (it has stupidly sold only PlayForSure protected content until now). Tesco plans for its entire catalogue to be DRM-free by the end of the year.

The news comes on the back of a yet another obscenely successful year for the supermarket chain which has reported 2007 financial figures showing an 11.8 per cent rise in profits to a staggering £2.846bn. Turnover leapt 11 per cent to a mammoth £51.8bn. Interestingly, much of the momentum was created by so-called 'non-food items' of which digital sales were reported to be particularly strong.

Naturally enough, a successful online store would boost that still further and given its financial oomph it stands a better chance than most of making headway - especially if it goes on its usual price offensive. After all, MP3s don't need to be let outside to roam free during the day...

Link:
Tesco Financial Results

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