Cupertino, CA (October 18, 2007)–Apple appears to be feeling the heat from the proliferation of new digital music download services. The company has announced that it has expanded the iTunes Plus catalog to over 2 million songs and dropped the per track price to 99 cents from $1.29.
The iTunes Plus store offers DRM-free tracks encoded in 256 kbps AAC format and was previously limited to offerings from EMI, the only major label to agree to sell DRM-free tracks through Apple’s download store. The iTunes Plus catalog is now the largest DRM-free catalog in the world, according to Apple, and includes artists from Sub Pop, Nettwerk, Beggars Group, IODA, The Orchard and many others, along with EMI’s digital catalog.
In the U.K., DRM-free iTunes Plus albums have fallen from £9.99 to £7.99 and every song available through either iTunes or iTunes Plus is now 79p each.
Amazon.com recently went live with the public beta version of its Amazon MP3 digital music store, which offers over 2 million DRM-free songs encoded at 256 kilobits per second for 89 or 99 cents each.
“iTunes Plus has been incredibly popular with our customers and now we’re making it available at an even more affordable price,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We’re adding over two million tracks from key independent labels in addition to EMI’s digital catalog and look forward to even more labels and artists making their music available on iTunes Plus.”