There’s been a bunch of news about the future of the retail music industry that all sort of goes together so I wanted to put it into one place:

  • Record companies are eyeing moving toward open-format MP3s for digital downloads within the next year or so as opposed to all the DRMed files in incompatible formats that are polluting the system now.
  • According to eMarketer, the number of digital music sales nearly doubled in 2006 over 2005 numbers. Those numbers still don’t make up for the drop in physical CD sales, but imagine if the tracks were in the above-mentioned MP3 format.
  • Mark Glaser makes a lot of good points, chief among them that the $15 price-point for a physical CD has been around for a while now and is largely artificial at this point.
  • Mack is talking about SnoCap’s MyStore, a new venture from Napster founder Shawn Fanning. The service would enable artists to sell their music directly to the audience as MP3s.
  • Music videos from Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group artists will have Google AdSense’s video ads attached to them.
  • A new service called Ruckus will be offering free music to college students. The bummer is that it’s going to be distributed in Microsoft’s PlaysForSure format, meaning it won’t even play on Microsoft’s own Zune player not to mention iPods.