Amazon Snags Warner, iTunes Captures Fox

Latest online licensing deals enhance the major players.

Clearly the pressure is on…

Following Sky’s game changing announcement that it had inked deals with Paramount and Warner Bros (making it the first online download service to offer video content from all six major studios) its rivals have been extremely busy.

First out the gate is Apple which has made up for losing its NBC agreement by sealing a long expected deal with Fox. The partnership will see Fox movie releases available for both virtual ‘rental’ (via DRM restrictions) and eventually sales of Apple DRMed DVDs which enable its discs to be legally ripped to iPods.

Following right behind Apple is Amazon which has mimicked Sky is adding Warner Bros to its catalogue. Unlike Sky however Amazon’s licence focuses on Warner’s music stable and – vitally – means that the record label joins EMI and Universal in offering its tracks DRM free (all Amazon music comes without digital rights management). Plans are also afoot between the two to release exclusive tracks and album compilations on the service.

So the contract shuffle evolves. Expect some of the little players to go pop off the back of it early in the New Year…

Amazon MP3

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