Vodafone sheds DRM on its mobiles

Vodafone scraps DRM on music
Vodafone scraps DRM on music

Vodafone has claimed it is the first global mobile network operator to offer DRM free music across both mobile phones and PCs after it scrapped digital music protection on its catalogue.

After signing a deal with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music, Vodafone has stripped the rights management lock on each track, and is now offering its catalogue of over one million songs DRM-free.

Vodafone has also said that anyone lumbered with WMA DRM-restricted tracks will also be joyously freed, as they will be able to re-download the tracks sans DRM.

Reload! Sideload!

The DRM-free tracks will be available both on PC and mobile, so there won't even be the need to sideload. Although we do like that term as it sounds like something you might do when reloading a gun from an alternate future.

"EMI has long been a proponent of DRM free music because of the benefits it brings to fans and so we are very supportive of this initiative from Vodafone," said Douglas Merrill, EMI Music's COO of New Music and President, Digital Business.

The move is another siginificant step on the road to DRM-free music in the future, with iTunes, Amazon and now Vodafone all offering the lock-free music. Even Nokia is exploring the option of its Comes with Music coming without restrictions, so the future of unlocked music could be sooner rather than later.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.