Apple Makes DRM Deal with Big Three Music Labels, Plus 3G Downloads Coming?

According to CNET sources, Apple has signed deals with Sony BMG, Universal, and Warner to bring flexibly-priced DRM-free music to iTunes while simultaneously introducing music downloads to the iPhone's 3G service.

While EMI is already offering DRM-free music on iTunes, they represent only 10% of the music market. With "the big three" on board, a majority of iTunes' music could be DRM-free. But the new pricing options may be the real cost of it all to consumers. While catalog titles will now start at 79 cents, the studios will be able to price music above 99 cents (to undisclosed amounts)—though CNET's source says that all music will eventually return to 79 cents.

So while it sounds like Apple finally caved to the music industry, at least consumers may get something decent out of it. Hopefully we'll hear about it all today at the keynote. [CNET]