Months later their is still no deal. Sources tell Hypebot that each label is looking for a different concession before they allow iTunes to drop DRM:
- Warner Music Group wants variable pricing on the track level including some hit product above $.99 cents.
- Sony BMG wants to work with iTunes using the agency model. As it is with Rhapsody, Amazon and others, Sony BMG is the actual seller of tracks and iTunes woulc be the agent delivering them. Sony BMG's concern is that competition will drive track prices lower and the agency model allows them to maintain complete control.
- Universal wants watermarking on the individual track purchase level. Apparently other download stores have agreed or are close to agreeing to do the same. How it will effect consumers remains unclear.
Three major labels with three very different sets of demands. Will Steve Jobs bend that far? Will the labels blink? It's hard to see why either side is in any hurry to ammend their position. After all, iTunes with DRM already sells more tracks than anyone else and consumers who want their downloads DRM-free now have mulitple alternatives.