7Digital Adds Universal, Has Three of ‘Big Four’ DRM Free

Could beat Amazon's UK launch and land all four.

When Amazon MP3 launched in the US and quickly secured all of the so-called big four record labels (EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony BMG) on DRM-free deals it seemed the company had the world – and possibly iTunes – at its knees. Almost 12 months on however there is still no sign of the mooted international launch and in true Hollywood underdog style one of the little guys could be set to beat it to the punch…

In the softest of soft releases 7Digital has begun suddenly selling DRM free music from the Universal catalogue in the UK. This also means it has now secured three of the big four (EMI and, since March, Warner are also aboard). Furthermore, rumour on the grape vine is a Sony BMG contract could be arriving sooner rather than later.

So what does Universal add? Well a monstrous list is available on its site but highlights (these are ‘taste neutral’) include 50 Cent (very taste neutral), Amy Winehouse, Black Eyed Peas, Elliott Smith, Eminem, Guns N Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Maroon 5, Mariah Carey, N.E.R.D., Queens of the Stone Age, Razorlight, Sigur Ros, Snow Patrol, Sugababes, The Killers, The Who, Tom Petty, U2, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and – well, you get the picture…

This is particularly good news too since 7Digital sells at high bitrates and tends to undercut most online music stores, particularly iTunes.

Looks like this is one site going places…

7Digital (thanks to eagle eyed reader Philip for the tip-off)

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