November 4, 2008

Online Retailers Throw Support Behind New MP3 Logo

A new "MP3 compatible" logo is being promoted by seven of Britain's largest music download sites.

The promotion looks to generate a buzz for the open MP3 music format and demonstrate the versatility of the format. The trade body behind the initiative said it should also help consumers identify legal sites.

The logo was created by the Entertainment Retailers Association, which emphasizes the fact that MP3 files can be played on any digital player.

In an effort to show consumers that the MP3 download will play on PCs, Macs, and portable music players, popular companies such as HMV, Woolworths, 7digital, Digitalstores, Tescodigital, Tunetribe, and Play.com have all signed up for the promotion.

Analysts say single track downloads were up 41% and album downloads increased 69% from the previous year, according to October figures from the Official UK Charts Company.

"Online sales have been booming because users love the freedom of MP3," said 7digital's Ben Drury.

"The beauty of an MP3 file is that once you have bought it, you don't need to be a computer genius or a lawyer to make it work and you are not locked in to a relationship with a single retailer or hardware manufacturer," he said.

The British record industry's trade association, the BPI, is also behind the idea.

"This logo will not only help give consumers confidence that the music files they are buying will play on a wide range of devices, but will also help them know that they are legal and that artists are getting paid," said Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive.

Retailers are hopeful that the MP3-compatible logo will form the blueprint of an international standard and ERA is also seeking support from manufacturers of MP3-compatible digital music players.


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