German Music Site Explains The High Cost Of DRM
from the DRM-good-for-the-call-center-business dept
While the record labels continue making the specious claim that DRM opens up new business models, it’s been clear for some time that DRM does nothing of the sort and only lessens the value of what’s being “protected”. Now, a German music download service is offering a very clear example of how DRM is hurting it and its consumers. The company says that three out of four customer support calls stem from confusion over copy-protection schemes, which ends up costing the company quite a bit of money. This isn’t too surprising. One can only imagine how many times someone has called up to ask why a song won’t play on their iPod. Meanwhile, the company has also started selling unprotected tracks from independent artists, and it notes that sales of those songs are up sharply. Considering the success of eMusic, which also sells DRM-free tracks, there seems to be a pretty clear business case for dropping DRM altogether. While it’s probably going to take awhile for the record labels to get this message, we’re wondering why Steve Jobs, who supposedly dislikes DRM, hasn’t offered to sell DRM-free tracks over iTunes for artists and labels that opt for it. So if DRM costs a lot more in both licensing the technology and support, it doesn’t provide any user benefit, it doesn’t stop songs from getting on file sharing networks, and it actually holds back sales, what’s the benefit of it?