Orange Store Abandons DRM For Music Tracks

Orange is set to follow fellow mobile network provider Vodafone and offer DRM-free music on its online music store, putting more pressure on the remaining operators to do the same.

Universal Music, EMI Music as well as a number of independent labels have also backed Orange's move. This means that the France-Telecom owned provider will be able to provide access to more than 700,000 tracks with no strings attached.

This number, Orange has confirmed, is set to rise over the next few months. Its Online Music store has around 2 million tracks. However, in comparison, iTunes has more than 10 million songs worldwide.

Orange says that some of the tracks will be available from 79p with a new tiered pricing structure meaning that some songs will be priced higher. Cascada's hit song, Evacuate the Dancefloor for example will cost you 99p.

Users will be able to download, burn, transfer to other devices - including mobiles, MP3 players and computers - or share with third parties although that would be illegal.

The move is part of Orange's plan to rethink its music strategy by rehauling its online portal. This will provide users with faster billing processes, personalisation recommendations as well as improved search and navigation - something that Spotify does extremely well.

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Our Comments

Orange has an ongoing partnership with Nokia and is selling the firm's 5800 Xpressmusic that offers the unlimited Comes with Music bundle for as little as £25 per month. How will the mobile operator manage with the two?

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