November 7, 2008 Ten years after the release of the first MP3 player, seven UK-based music download retailers are giving the universally compatible format a promotional boost by adopting an “MP3 compatible” logo to indicate they are able to be played on every PC, Mac and on virtually every digital music player.
Devised by trade organization ERA Digital, the new logo will be used by retailers 7digital.com, Digitalstores.co.uk, HMV.com, Play.com, Tescodigital.com, Tunetribe.com and Woolworthsdownload.co.uk and is expected to form the template for an international roll-out.
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MP3 formats have no DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions which means there is no limit to the number of devices or computers you can transfer the track onto. Aside from signifying compatibility, the logo will also serve to help consumers identify legal sites.
According to ERA Digital Chairman and Digitalstores.co.uk CEO, Russel Coultart, 2008 has been the breakthrough year for legal MP3 downloads. “We now want to take the message out to music fans that they can legally buy downloads which are not locked to specific players or computers or mobile phones,” he said.
Figures from the Official UK Charts Company show that in October sales of single track downloads were up 41% on sales in October 2007. Sales of album downloads were up 69% on sales a year previously. ERA forecasts suggest that by year-end total sales of music downloads in the UK will have grown by more than 50% compared with 2007.