Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 will be year of DRM-free music

Avast, me hearties!Michael Geist points out a useful Billboard survey of DRM-free music downloads:

In 2007, the majors will get the message, and the DRM wall will begin to crumble. Why? Because they'll no longer be able to point to a growing digital marketplace as justification that DRM works. Revenue from digital downloads and mobile content is expected to be flat or, in some cases, decline next year. If the digital market does in fact stall, alternatives to DRM will look much more attractive.

We should not allow the music industry to ascribe declining revenues to "piracy." It is inevitable that in an increasingly crowded entertainment marketplace, some consumer revenue will shift to ever-cheaper DVDs, games and other competition for their eyeballs. The growing availability of user-generated content will also reduce the amount that consumers are willing to spend on paid-for product.

Everywhere else in the economy this is known as the creative destruction of capitalism. Odd that music industry executives are so unhappy about its effects on their own bottom line.

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