The idea that DRM-free music might just make good business sense smolders along, as eMusic is announcing they’ve managed to sell 100 million unprotected songs without the world coming to an end. As part of the promotion, the customer who purchased the milestone track will have a song written about him by the Barenaked Ladies, who’ll include the song on as a bonus track for their upcoming album. The record labels have consistently claimed you can’t be successful selling music that isn’t copy-protected — but eMusic’s second place showing (behind iTunes) shows that’s clearly not the case. They continue to sell more music than Rhapsody, Napster and MSN Music combined, all while catering to indie music fans by avoiding major label content.
We added the emphasis, but that’s a big point. eMusic has a subscription model; you pay ’em X dollars a month for the right to download Y number of unprotected MP3 tracks in any given month. Plan costs and volumes vary, but they’re all quite reasonable. Content’s fresh — for example, they’ve got the new Tom Waits. Check ’em out.