WAL-MART (Hypebot) â€“
has gone mp3 only without product from SonyBMG and WMG. EMI and Universal catalog has been available DRM-free on the site since late summer. According the the site:
Wal-Mart Music Downloads Now Available in MP3 Only
We are no longer offering songs in WMA format and are focusing on bringing you the very best that music downloads can offer in the most popular format MP3.
Digital Music news first noticed the take-down last night and Hypebot confirmed that whether its a newcomer like Sean Kingston or a top selling icon like Madonna, artists from SonyBMG and WMG are only available on the mega-retailer's download site as part of compilations released by other labels. CD's form these labels are still on sale online and in stores.
Sources at other download retailers have told Hypebot for months that the majors are making unreasonable demands in exchange for going DRM-free. The mighty Wal-Mart, whose download store has never gained traction despite offering lower prices, apparently decided that enough was enough.
Wal-Mart knows that what's good for the customer – in this case low priced DRM-free mp3's – is good for business. It's ironic that the retailer who cares least about the music may be the one to set it free.