Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Steve Jobs Speaks Out

I don't like DRM (aka FairPlay) and never have. I even wrote about a few weeks ago - here.

Steve Jobs dropped a bombshell today and publicly spoke out against DRM. I'm glad someone finally stepped up to the plate to do this.

He gives some background on how we got to DRM and outlook for the future. What's interesting are some of the numbers he throws out: less than 3% of the music on the average iPod is purchased from the iTunes music store, over 20 billion unprotected songs were sold on CDs (2006), and less than 2 billion songs were sold with DRM (2006). If these numbers are, in fact correct, than this market is NOT dominated by Apple. Yes, they have an early lead and are extremely good at what they do (sexy products, easy-to-use), but the "game isn't over till its over" as they say.

If you are remotely interested in the future of music sharing and the Internet the article is definitely worth a read.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

DRM - Is it going to last?

I was catching up on a few podcasts today and listened to Talk Crunch's Fate of DRM with the guys from Yahoo. I'm not a big music guy, but I do have a decent collection of mp3's - mostly for listening to while I'm at the gym or on the train. Occasionally, I'll buy a new song and that's always from iTunes b/c I have a nano but its few and far between. From a consumer standpoint, I despise DRM technology. If I pay for a song I feel like I own it, and should be able to put it on 50 computers. I do agree with the guys from Yahoo in that DRM technology is not going to last. Now, I'm not saying we should going back to the free wheeling days of Napster, but rather the current state of DRM is not the answer. Consumers want flexible and portable solutions. Apple's got the sexy hardware and that's probably not going to change for a while so they make all the rules. Eventually, a viable alternative to DRM will emerge (from Apple or someone else) and when that time comes people will adopt it. It's only a matter of time.

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