Pre-orders and previews begin April 10, launches April 24.
Details Behind the Apple-EMI Deal
A few of the more interesting tidbits from Jeanne Meyer, EMI's Senior VP of Corporate Communications:
EMI approached Apple about DRM free tracks, not the other way around.
EMI is cool with any other music store doing DRM-free tracks. This is not an iTunes exclusive.
Those stores can put songs in any format they want. The iTunes premium price and AAC 256 kbps format are Apple's Marketing decision.
EMI made this move based on research that showed consumers want DRM-free tracks.
They're doing this to get a bigger stake in online music, believing that even though CDs are 90% of their sales, those figures will shrink or stay flat. They're projecting that online sales should rise to to 25% of their sales by 2010.
The DRM-free tracks should, they believe improve sales: Even as piracy gets easier, so does the ability to play songs on any MP3 player available. (That is, once some other music store releases EMI tracks on MP3.)