According to the International Herald Tribune, they may just be seeing sense (article here) and are now looking at selling music as MP3s.  Arriving at this situation is not surprising, with several different trends:

  • Going to MP3s would give them a means to break the strangle hold that Apple and Microsoft currently hold over them. Particularly with the resent friction with Apple over pricing models.
  • As home media systems become increasingly integrated users will become more frustrated about restriction on which devices can play their music.
  • The IFPI and RIAA‘s war against P2P sharing is only having limited impact and only driving more sophisticated solutions to sharing both in terms of technology – look at the rise of Bit Torrents after the attacks on older P2P solutions and in legal means – setting up indie record labels, buying their own islands etc. No to mention its alienating the very people they want to sell to.
  • Research shows that more people download, typically the more music they’ll buy.