Analyst Firm Warns Of Billions Lost Due To Lack Of Mobile DRM?

from the losses?--what-losses? dept

Analyst firms love to sell their reports, and that means they need to spin them in ways that make them sound really scary to the industry that might buy them. Last week it was one analyst firm claiming that DVR's are "costing" TV advertisers money, and this week's entry comes from another analyst firm proclaiming that a lack of standardized DRM in Europe will cost the industry 3.5 billion euros this year. This is ridiculous on many levels. First, like so many reports, this seems to include all unauthorized copies as if they would have been paid for. Any time you see a report claiming that all such content is "lost revenue," you know that the report is being used dishonestly -- especially when the report doesn't seem to include the idea that unauthorized usage can often lead to legitimate purchases as well. Next, nowhere does the report seem to note that copy protection has a well-known decrease in the appeal of content. It makes it less useful to the end user in many ways -- thereby making it less valuable. Also, it removes any right of resale, which (especially in the content world) helps increase the value of many products. Again, the report does not appear to take any of this into account. About the only thing it notes is that proprietary copy protection solutions will stunt the market by limiting how content can be moved around -- but that's only a small part of the issue. Also, in the realm of mobile data, this is still very much an emerging market -- with many users not sure why they should bother. Putting up barriers everywhere doesn't make anyone more willing to try stuff. In many ways, unauthorized copies of software products in the early days of PCs were what helped establish them as a platform worth using. I've been testing a few smartphones out lately, and the fact that everywhere I turn there appears to be a tollbooth for apps with limited usefulness makes me wonder why I should even bother with most mobile data offerings. Of course, all of this, combined with too much greed among patent holders, helped effectively kill off a similar mobile standardization effort last year. It's hard to see how trying to go through such a process all over again is going to make sense -- though, thanks to questionable reports from analyst firms, it's likely that another standards battle is about to start over a "feature" that consumers don't want or need.

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  1. identicon
    BillyBob, 9 May 2006 @ 12:50pm

    The other way 'round...

    Why don't they consider the cost of having an entire industry side-tracked into developing ever more complex and problematic DRM schemes instead of figuring out how to deliver better video & audio quality, more compelling content and other new tech & electronics?

    DRM is a waste of resources for EVERYONE - the content creators, the media mfrs, HW & SW mfrs and consumers.

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