updated 07:15 pm EDT, Thu April 2, 2009
Verizon MP3 Music on Web
Verizon this afternoon chose CTIA as the venue to launch MP3 music downloads on its media store. The move brings about 5 million of the unprotected tracks and complements the ringtones that have dominated the company's web store in the past. Buying tracks doesn't require using a Verizon phone and thus lets buyers put songs on iPods or other general media-capable hardware.
The carrier is following a similar policy for the store as Apple has for iTunes and plans to sell songs at different price levels: new songs and very popular releases should cost $1.29 each, while most typical songs will sell for 99 cents. Back-catalog titles will usually sell for 69 cents.
Verizon claims to be the first cellular provider in the US offering its music without copy protection online and also differs greatly from services like Nokia's Music Store, which has often pushed locked-down tracks regardless of whether it's on-device or on computers. American rival AT&T so far only truly offers unprotected songs to most of its phones through on-phone stores like eMusic, while iTunes downloads only work for non-iPhone devices by transferring them from a computer running Apple's software.