News Flash: Consumers Prefer DRM-Free Music

from the no-brainer dept

The evidence that consumers like DRM-free music just keeps pouring in. The latest is a story from 7 Digital, a small online music store in the UK, which is reporting that DRM-free formats are outselling DRM-encumbered formats by a 4-to-1 margin. This isn't too surprising, given that DRM-encumbered music sold by anyone other than Apple won't play on the iPod, the world's most popular portable music player. Obviously, when given a side-by-side choice, the vast majority of consumers are going to choose the format that works everywhere. I suspect that name recognition is also a factor in MP3's favor: almost everyone has heard of MP3s, so someone who doesn't know anything else about digital formats or DRM is going to go with MP3 as a trusted "brand." One other interesting point in the article is that 7 Digital now has 60 percent of its music available in DRM-free formats, and expects to get that figure close to 100 percent by next summer. They appear to carry a wide variety of music from both major and independent labels. Until this year, iTunes was the only legal way to get your major-label music on your iPod. That was great for Apple, but not so good for the major labels. Now that the labels have come to their senses and started allowing DRM-free music sales, we're going to see, for the first time, a genuinely competitive market for online music with a lot of different music stores, all carrying both major-label and independent fare, and all selling music that will work with any device. Apple's music store will finally have to compete on its merits, rather than being propped up by its DRM monopoly. It's an exciting time to be a music fan.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 5:47am

    Cue MAFIAA trolls in 3, 2, 1,...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Violin Teacher, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 6:32am

    DRM? What's that?

    I make my own music, and I teach others how to do the same.
    --
    Violin Lessons in Plano, TX

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 6:55am

    Re: DRM? What's that?

    Yes, nothing like hearing the violin version of Metallica's "Sandman" to get you amped...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    nushustu, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 7:33am

    It's not entirely fair to call Apple's music business a monopoly. The major labels chose to provide their music in a format that the ipod doesn't play. Nobody made them do that. They could have provided drm-free music years ago, and sold their stuff on apple or whereever. If apple had a monopoly, it was because nobody else bothered trying to compete.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    hexjones, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 7:56am

    You must play the trumpet too, Violin Teacher.

    nushustu, as far as consumers are concerned, Apple has had a monopoly. I can't get everything that I want through eMusic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    suckerpunch-tm, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    4 to 1?

    Who is the 1 out of 5 person stilling buying DRM encumbered files? And why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    inc, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: DRM? What's that?

    nice

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    Re: 4 to 1?

    That's me, but only because I'm not paying $0.99 per song to play only on my MP3 player (napster). I use a third party program to pull the DRM out. They didn't take that into account did they?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:27am

    Re: 4 to 1?

    It is probably the same 1 out of every fourth dentist that does not recomend brushing after meals

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Jaron, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: 4 to 1?

    Enjoy your poor quality transcode.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Billy K, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    You're Better Than This, Techdirt

    "Until this year, iTunes was the only legal way to get your major-label music on your iPod."
    Funny, I've had no problem ripping my CDs. I also understand eMusic and Audio Lunchbox are legal, as well as the huge pool of free mp3s given away by artists and labels. Really - I expect better than this from Techdirt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Tim, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:06pm

    Re: You're Better Than This, Techdirt

    That's a good point, Billy. Although there wasn't a lot of major-label music available from eMusic before this year. What I meant to say was that there was no legal way to download major-label music and play it on your iPod without iTunes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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