All signs are pointing to the eventual dominance of the MP3 format for paid digital music in the near future. Last fall there were lots of signals that 2007 would be the year where the labels and publishers would be forced to face a future where MP3 become the latest legitimate format for digital music, and where Digital Rights Management begins to lose it’s grip on the main action in paid digital downloads.
The major labels began to experiment with MP3 format releases with some high-profile acts, including Nora Jones, Jessica Simpson and others. This shift in strategy has allowed the labels to play with variable price points, something they have been wanting to do with iTunes and other platforms.
Companies are lining up to capitalize on this inevitability including Amazon, MySpace, Yahoo, eMusic, Limewire and many others.
Eliot Van Buskirk from Wired News sums up the situation pretty well with his seven reasons why MP3 is the future of the music industry:
1. The labels don’t have a choice
2. Apple might be forced into interoperability
3. Thomson has endorsed selling watermarked MP3s
4. Amazon is rumored to start selling MP3s by April
5. Sony: "DRMs are going to become less important"
6. People love AllofMP3.com
7. MP3 has future options