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We had a crazy day launching yesterday and the first 24 hours have been wild. The team has worked for months on this so it’s nice to finally get it launched. One thing that irked me was that a PC World reporter said that I was “jumping on the non-DRM bandwagon”. He must be a new reporter and unaware that I started MP3.com, helped defend the first portable MP3 player in court and have done more than anyone I know to campaign for open formats. He’s also apparently oblivious to the amount of work required to launch a digital music site with a massive inventory of thousands of digital an physical albums. Anyone thinking about this for 2 seconds realizes that we started work on this business last year. You can read more about it on my web site michaelrobertson.com. It’s amazing how people say that Steve Jobs started the non-DRM campaign. Apple is the biggest DRM vendor in the world. They have the rights to ship non-DRM of indie music, but they do not. He only got religion after the EU threatened boycotts.
The user feedback has been universally great. We’ve also got feedback from one of the big box retailers who wants MP3 delivery for all their CD purchases and email from independants retailers who want this too. We think this is best thing to happen to album sales in a long time and could have a very positive effect on sliding sales. We’ll see how that goes.
We did have a bunch of labels tell us they wanted to participate with AnywhereCD which is great. Not everyone was excited about all the options on the site though. On day 1 you don’t want to fight so we removed the feature where CD delivery was optional. Now you must pay more money and get a physical CD shipped to you. Sorry. I know it’s not what some of you want. I hope we’ll bring this feature back since it’s good for everyone but we won’t reactivate it until we get everyone excited about it. We think it’s a great option for everyone: Users get lower prices, labels get fewer CDs showing up in used CD shelves meaning they actually make more money cause they don’t lose anything to recirculating CDs and of course they still get paid in full for the original CD purchase. All good things.
Thanks again for everyone’s support! You can help us out by buying albums or requesting those you would buy. If you want to remain anonymous just enter “anonymous” in the Taking Requests field instead of an email. That’s fine too.
On June 16, 2006 we registered the AnywhereCD domain and after a lot of hard work and many long nights we launched the site today!