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Thursday · February 08 2007

Steve Jobs argues against DRM on music
1. DRM (Digital Rights Management) doesn't lock consumers into one brand of player, because most consumers aren't listening to DRM-protected music.

Today’s most popular iPod holds 1000 songs, and research tells us that the average iPod is nearly full. This means that only 22 out of 1000 songs, or under 3% of the music on the average iPod, is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM.

2. Apple cannot license its DRM scheme to other companies because of the immense complexities involved with updating and fixing it regularly.

3. 10 times as many songs were sold last year on DRM-free CDs as compared to online stores.

So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none. If anything, the technical expertise and overhead required to create, operate and update a DRM system has limited the number of participants selling DRM protected music. If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies.

Yes, yes, and yes.

Archived: Listen » February 2007
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© 2007 Jason Keglovitz