There’s alot of new action going on in the digital music sphere. News lately that Wall Mart will begin selling DRM-free music online and MTV will join up with Real Networks to crate a new service. MTV’s Urge has been a Microsoft partnership up until now and Real has had Rhapsody. It probably makes sense as Microsoft is likely more committed to it’s Zune Marketplace at this point and Real could use the young hip audience MTV can bring.
All of this is being spurred on by EMI and Universal. EMI already sells DRM-free tracks through iTunes and is now expanding to other services. Universal, on the other hand, is beginning to experiment with DRM-free music but has spurned iTunes. The major problem these new services will face, however, is that none of them will work as seamlessly with the iPod as iTunes will. That pure ease of use should give Apple the overall advantage, so long as the iPod remains the dominant digital music player.