HMV has announced it will be selling "DRM-free" digital downloads from September 2007.
All online HMV downloads will be incorporated into the hmv.co.uk store, rather than the currently separate hmvdigital.co.uk.
These changes will provide UK consumers with a choice of physical CDs or digital albums from a single site, something not done by anyone else on such a large scale.
HMV intends to include EMI's "DRM-free" catalogue within an initial offering of over one million DRM-free tracks. The range will also include non-DRM product supplied by independent music labels.
This should include EMI artists such as Coldplay, Lily Allen, Gorillaz and Robbie Williams, as well as existing content from other labels by HMV's digital partner, MusicNet. These tracks will add to the 3 million-plus tracks that HMV already has online.
All tracks will be available at the high-quality, 328 bit rate, and prices will start at 79p, which is cheaper than Apple's DRM-free tracks which are charged at a premium of £1.29.
These downloads will be compatible with all MP3 players, including iPods.
HMV has said it hope that the total number of non-DRM tracks available as MP3 downloads will grow over the coming months, as it reaches agreements with additional labels.