Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra just announced the launch of an online store, where they are selling tracks directly from their own website. Following in the tentative steps of MySpace, eMusic, and Yahoo!, the Orchestra is selling unencumbered (i.e., DRM-free) MP3’s. Even better, for a slightly higher price, you can download content in the higher quality (lossless) FLAC format.

Performances currently seemed to be priced at approximately $5 for the MP3 version and $6 for the FLAC version. This seems just about right to me.

As an added bonus, they’re offering Beethoven’s Fifth in C minor for free.

I’d love to see more of the industry move in this direction, particularly for longer-tail type cultural content like classical and world music. These recent developments are certainly a good start. It will be interesting to see if the iTunes Store eventually is forced to respond to these pressures.